A look at sexual violence and women speaking up



The hard-hitting film Luckiest Girl Alive, by British director Mike Barker, was released to Netflix on September 30.

Be aware — there are disturbing scenes not for the faint-hearted.

Luckiest Girl Alive stars Mila Kunis as Ani, a sex advice writer at a New York women’s magazine, an ambitious young career woman with a haunted past.

The stage is set for a theme of self-justification, reflection and solidarity among women to speak out against sexual violence.

Barker crafts an effective flashback structure portraying Ani’s past and present.

The viewer sees all angles of Ani, the good, the bad and the ugly, through intermittent scenes of her younger self.

Exploring deeper into the development of present Ani throughout the film, the viewer understands her actions, and perhaps excuses them.

Reviews have described Ani’s ‘‘rise from the ashes’’ arc.

She was a victim.

She powerfully carries this to the culprit years after the incident.

Barker’s portrayal of the sequence of events leading up to this show the utter importance of speaking out immediately, especially in light of the future fallout that could be prevented, and the echoing repercussions an incident could have many years after its occurrence.

One impactful scene seems to miss the mark.

Women anonymously post reviews of Ani’s greatest work, her brutally honest op-ed in the New York Times about her experience, while sitting on a subway train.

The director seems within reach of a powerfully emotional moment of consolidation among survivors.

In my opinion, the film should have ended there, but instead fumbles with an epilogue.

The epilogue’s superficiality leaves a bad taste, and it diminishes the effect of the previous powerful and natural end point.