Betting on a gray zone between drama and psychological suspense, A very lucky girl fails as much for its dramatic impotence as for the promise of a dark plot twist that never quite arrives. The adaptation of the eponymous book by Jessica Knoll for Netflix misses the opportunity to bring sensitive and current topics, delivering only a sequence of clichés, followed by a simplistic conclusion.
Proof that a narrative of empowerment and overcoming a slightly sinister female character is not enough to reproduce the success of Gone Girl (2014), a film by David Fincher based on the work of Gillian Flynn, A girl… loses credibility when trying, belatedly, to surf the wave of #MeToo, without any real commitment to dialogue with the difficult reality experienced by the protagonist.
In the skin of Ani FaNelli, Mila Kunis lives a woman who seems to have everything: the groom (Finn Wittrock) from an affluent and traditional family, the impeccable looks, the rising career to the position of his dreams, and the comfortable, elegant New York life he always wanted. None of this, however, is enough to make her forget the traumas of her past, gradually introduced into the plot in the form of flashbacks to her adolescence, in the fashion of 13 Reasons Why. We are introduced to two versions of Ani: one in her plot-driven monologues – anguished, aloof and obsessed with success – and the other in her public persona who always knows what to do and say to fulfill the expectations of everyone around her. return.
When approached by a documentary filmmaker interested in hearing her as one of the few survivors of a fatal school shooting, Ani gradually begins to confront her silence about her own history. Revisiting the troubled memories of the episodes of her adolescence that defined her fractured personality, the protagonist reveals the terrible abuses she was subjected to in her youth and is forced to finally face her cruelest aggressor, also a survivor of the incident at school.
Although it proposes to place at the center of the story the experience of overcoming a survivor of sexual violence, as well as reaching out to so many others who live under the same fear and silence as Ani, the film regretfully slips by incorporating a variety of serious and urgent issues of our time without actually being able to deal with any of them in depth. Arms control, social prejudice and bullying in schools are some of the issues raised, all tied up by the loneliness and helplessness shared by victims who do not find anyone to turn to.
There is no way to deny the merit of any initiative that breaks the silence and denaturalizes the continuous violence that crosses the lives of survivors such as that of Kunis’ character, but it must be recognized that A very lucky girl it does so in a dull and unoriginal, perhaps irresponsible, way. Never delivering the long-awaited plot twist that seems to have been announced from the beginning, the feature seems to assume that Ani’s release by facing her abuser is nothing more than a matter of resilience, ignoring the privileges conquered by the protagonist in her adult life and reinforcing traditional perspectives. of gender.
Despite Kunis’ commendable effort in building the character, she is lost between the appearance of coldness and a supposed repressed sensitivity, both poorly represented to the point of inhibiting any principle of empathy. Wasting the potential of the atmosphere of suspense and fury introduced by dropper in the story, if the production yields good results in the catalog it will only be at the expense of a provocative theme, although fatally poorly approached – either for lack of courage, or luck.
A very lucky girl
Luckiest Girl Alive
A very lucky girl
Luckiest Girl Alive
Direction: Mike Barker
Road map: Jessica Knoll
Cast: Mila Kunis