A few days ago, I received a text from my sister telling me to watch “Luckiest Girl Alive,” a movie that premiered on Netflix on October 7th, 2022. As I loaded it on my laptop and clicked play, I realized 20 minutes into it that I was watching a storyline about a young woman who had everything but nothing all at once. Mila Kunis stars as Ani Harrisson, a writer for a sex-positive women’s magazine in New York. With a rich and attractive fiance, and an impeccable ability to write, Ani has seemed to make a life for herself. Unfortunately, that’s only what others see on the outside. As the movie progresses, we get a glimpse into the life of TifAni Fanelli (played by Chiara Aurelia), a 14-year-old version of Ani, who survived not only a not only a school shooting, but a traumatic sexual assault inflicted by three drunk classmates. Mila Kunis and Chiara Aurelia did a spectacular job at portraying the different trauma responses to sexual assault, something that 1 out of every 6 American women have gone through in their lifetime.
Throughout the sarcastic yet relatable internal dialogue that we hear from present-day Ani, and the shaky and violent flashbacks we see from her 14-year-old self, it’s clear that everything was intentional. Aside from Mila Kunis’s performance, the topics explored in this storyline were too canny with my own experiences. Towards the end of the movie, Ani begins to spiral as she realizes that the things she kept hidden away from everyone have begun to resurface, causing rifts in her interpersonal relationships. As a result, Ani releases the emotions she has pent up for so long by calling out her only living abuser in the form of an article, and in the wake of her anger, she is reborn as a moving figure. This time, it wasn’t because of how she presented herself on the outside, but because she became vulnerable and angry, giving a voice to the women who lost their own. The movie progresses quickly, but it realistically portrays in itself how life feels after you let go of everything that’s been holding you down. In the media, openly angry women are seen as “crazy” and even “deranged”, but as the world slowly reverts back into a place that directly oppresses us for expressing our thoughts and emotions, anger can be used as a declaration of resistance. The unlikeable, misunderstood, and pessimistic female narrator has been a pivotal role in many movies that have been released in the last decade. From Dani Ardor in ”Midsommar” to Amy Dunne in “Gone Girl”, all of these characters exist to prove that the unleashment of female rage is destructive and empowering all at once.