Netflix’s new thriller is a glossy tale with a jagged edge: Luckiest Girl Alive review

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L:uckiest Girl Alive: Key Information

– Adapted from Jessica Knoll’s bestselling novel

– Directed by Mike Barker, a veteran TV director with a long stint on The Handmaid’s Tale

– Knoll adapted her own novel for the screenplay

– Starring Mila Kunis, Finn Wittrock and Connie Britton

– Releasing on Netflix worldwide

– Running time of 113 minutes

“It’s 2015 and people still act like marriage is some sort of crowning achievement for women,” narrates Mila Kunis’ bride-to-be Ani Fanelli while shopping for fancy kitchen knives in the opening scene of Netflix’s Luckiest Girl Alive, the latest original to roll off the streaming giant’s production line. “That is a trap I did not fall into.” The fact she then envisages stabbing her future husband suggests we’re in for a marital murder tale akin to another New York Times Bestseller given the Hollywood treatment, Gone Girl.

While the writer of the original novel and its adapted screenplay Jessica Knoll has freely admitted to aping Gillian Flynn’s career path, her story is markedly different from the homicide-framing antics of Amy Dunne and her icy portrayal by Rosamund Pike. Ani doesn’t have any nefarious intentions towards her wealthy fiancé Luke (Finn Wittrock) – although his maddening lack of empathy would justify such thoughts. Her imaginary bloodshed stems from the deep trauma she suffered at the hands of her elite high school peers. And not just the relentless bullying over her less-privileged background either. 

As revealed in flashbacks where Chiara Aurelia (Cruel Summer) stands in for Kunis, Ani was left emotionally scarred by the actions of three different male students on the same drunken night. Just weeks later, she was forced to run for her life when two outcasts opened fire in the deadliest private school shooting on American soil. Furthermore, thanks to malicious rumours spread by one of her attackers, she was accused of being an accomplice. 

Luckiest Girl Alive

Mila Kunis’ Ani embraces her fiance, Finn Wittrock’s Luke, in Luckiest Girl Alive (Image credit: Netflix)

On the surface, Ani appears to have put her ordeal behind her. She’s changed her name from Tiffany, lives in a swanky New York apartment with her financial advisor boyfriend and makes a living writing articles with titles such as 69 Ways To Get Him Off for glossy magazine Women’s Bible. 

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