Based on the eponymous novel by Jessica Knoll, Netflix’s thriller film ‘Luckiest Girl Alive’ follows Ani Fanelli, a successful New Yorker who prepares for her wedding with Luke Harrison. Amid the preparations, she gets forced to deal with the accusation of being involved in mass killings that happened at her former school. Starring Mila Kunis as Ani, the Mike Barker directorial progresses through Ani’s efforts to deal with her past and traumatic memories. Ani’s attempts to overcome the same pave the way for startling developments that affect her life severely. If you are up for a magnified look at the same, let us be your ally! SPOILERS AHEAD.
Luckiest Girl Alive Plot Synopsis
‘Luckiest Girl Alive’ begins with Ani preparing for her wedding with her fiancé Luke. As the preparations continue, she continues to have thoughts and visions of blood, specifically whenever she sees a knife. A documentarian named Aaron Wickersham meets Ani to convince her to be a part of a documentary that revolves around the school shooting that happened at Brentley School when she was a teenage student at the institution. From Aaron, she comes to know that her former schoolmate and survivor of the shooting Dean is accusing her of being involved in the crime. Meanwhile, Luke asks Ani to move to London with him after the wedding, where she has a better chance of being a writer.
Lolo, Ani’s boss at The Women’s Bible, where she works as a senior editor, offers her a new job at The New York Times when the former moves to the organization. Upon meeting her school teacher Andrew Larson, Ani thinks about how she was raped by her crush Liam, Liam’s friend, and Dean. She reaches out to Aaron and informs him that she is ready to be a part of the documentary but she wants to focus on the gang rape side of her story to unravel the truth behind Dean’s public facade. She thinks about how Larson tried to protect her and bring the three boys who raped her to justice, only for him to lose his job at the school.
At the time, Ani’s friends Arthur and Ben told her that Dean is powerful enough to silence anyone who goes against him. Arthur also revealed how Dean and his group bullied Ben. Ani returns to her former school and recollects how Ben committed the mass murders of students, especially targeting Liam and his friend. When she hid from the shooter, he nodded to her, making others suspect her involvement in the shooting. The suspicions grew when Arthur handed her a gun to shoot down Dean. When she hesitated, Arthur retrieved the gun and shot Dean in the leg, making him wheelchair-bound. Ani then killed Arthur out of fear.
Luckiest Girl Alive Ending: Does Ani Expose Dean? Does She Come Out as a Rape Survivor?
Yes, Ani does expose Dean and come out as a rape survivor. Throughout her life, Ani struggles to deal with the reality of being a rape survivor. When Larson’s efforts to bring Dean and others to justice failed, she realized that there is nothing much she can do against the people who barbarously harmed her. Being a teenage girl, Ani didn’t have any strength to come out as a rape survivor in front of the world alone. Even her mother failed to comprehend the gravity of her suffering as the former crucified her for having immoral connections with boys rather than extending her support to her daughter.
Since then, Ani has tried to achieve a tempting life filled with success to bury the bitterness of her past. But her efforts to do the same only increased the intensity of her intrusive thoughts and trauma reactions. Dean’s relevance as a mass shooting victim and the respect and empathy he garners in a social sphere ultimately makes her realize that it is time for her to stop trying to bury her thoughts and sacrifice a part of herself doing the same. Ani tells herself that the world has changed enough for people to understand the need for listening to a woman who shouts the word “rape,” unlike the period when she was a teenager.
Ani exposes Dean and comes out as a rape survivor by writing a personal essay in The New York Times, her new workplace. She secretly records Dean confessing to raping her when she confronts him at a bookstore as he promises to stop accusing her in return for her silence about the rape. Ani’s understanding that the world is in a better place to accommodate her truth proves to be entirely true when several women reach out to her and share that they had gone through similar experiences. Her voice, which was suppressed when she was a teenager, gets heard by numerous women across the country.
Ani writes the essay for her own personal redemption. She wants to stop seeing imaginary blood flowing through her hand and the trauma of the gang rape not bring her down. By writing about the same, she offers an opportunity for countless women to tell themselves that they are not alone and their sufferings are always valid.
Do Ani and Luke Break Up or Marry?
Ani and Luke do break up. Ani’s relationship with Luke gives her a space to escape from her past. She tries to cherish the luxury of their companionship to forget Dean and the two other boys who raped her. Ani starts to believe that she will be able to feel some sort of security from her past by becoming Luke’s wife. However, she finally realizes that her beliefs aren’t accurate. Throughout their relationship, Ani has been releasing her anger toward her rapists in front of Luke to an extent that she starts to resent him. The revelation that she is resenting her fiancé makes her realize that she cannot continue with their companionship.
Since Luke is not the person who should pay for Ani’s struggles and traumas, she decides to part ways with him. Furthermore, Luke also fails to see the gravity of Ani’s suffering just like her mother. For him, the three guys raping her is just a “mistake” they had done and they had already paid for the same. He doesn’t take into account the suffering of Ani, which doesn’t eliminate or evaporate just because two of the rapists got killed and the other one is bound to a wheelchair. Luke sees Ani’s essay as her vengeance rather than her way of coming to terms with the reality of her pain.
When Ani stops suppressing her hurt and traumas, all Luke can think of is how much fun she used to be. On the day Ani courageously comes out as a rape survivor, Luke doesn’t even attempt to extend his support to her since he is more worried about their wedding dinner rehearsal. Thus, Ani doesn’t part ways with Luke without any reason. Even while breaking up, Ani lets Luke know that she loves him so much. But love alone is seemingly inadequate for Ani to share her life with him. As she opens a new chapter of her life, she may want someone aware of the depth of her struggles rather than someone who only aspires to see her “fun” side.