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I tend to lap up everything that has Mila Kunis in it so, when Netflix gave me the option of watching this new release called Luckiest Girl Alive, I did not waste any time on a perfect Friday evening to see what’s in-store for me.
Honestly, I tend to lap up everything that has Mila Kunis in it so, when Netflix gave me the option of watching this new release called Luckiest Girl Alive, I did not waste any time on a perfect Friday evening to see what’s in-store for me.
The movie is an adaptation of a novel by Jessica Knoll, which was published in 2015 and was a New York Times bestselling mystery novel. I haven’t read the book but, I believe the book version is always better than the movie.
A writer narrates a story to the audience directly through a novel. The movies we see are the perception of the story by another person, their understanding of the essence of the story, and their take on what the writer wanted to say.
So, my review is only of the movie, and it’s not a comment on the novel, the story in the novel or the writer.
Coming back to the movie, the best part about watching it was, I had zero clue what it was about and that is a rare thing to happen given the social media influence/interference in our day-to-day lives.
I knew Mila Kunis was promoting a movie, but somehow with the past few weeks being hectic, I never paid much attention to the movie’s storyline.
The movie is a bit sharp around its edges, and it’s not all rosy and bright and happy. The initial half of the movie seemed a bit blotchy with the past and the present reference of the main character not seamed smoothly.
There were moments when I felt the movie was borderline ugly, but then, is trauma, anger and grief ever not ugly? As the story unfolded, the “ugliness” that I initially felt made more and more sense.
When grief or sadness or human complexities are showcased on screen, more often than not, they are sugar-coated, painted in lovely pastels and seem like a beautiful journey. The reality, in fact, is very different. Life isn’t sugar-coated, so, why should a raw story be?
I might be biased, but Mila’s acting was on point. She always manages to give the characters she portrays a little bit of herself and as an audience, that’s the thing that clicks. Ani FeNelli is flawed, to an extent scary and human.
As the movie progressed, I started seeing the pattern behind her chaos, her layers behind the persona she had so diligently created and by the time the movie ends, she became someone I could understand, relate to and empathize with.
Connie Britton did justice to the role given to her. That being said, Ani’s mother’s character could do with a few more layers added to her character resulting in some more depth and insight on the mother-daughter relationship.
I was a bit disappointed on seeing Scoot McNairy so grossly underutilized. I did not know he was a part of this movie so, I was surprised, happy and then disappointed. In that order. An actor of his calibre deserves something more meaty.
Finn Wittrock portrayed the role of Ani’s rich and perfect fiancé, Luke Harrison. The focus in the movie wasn’t on him so, as an actor, Finn couldn’t leave a mark but, in the looks department, he passes with distinction.
The movie touched some very important issues like gun violence in high schools, rape, how society treats the victims, how victims feel about coming out with their truth, how school politics work, how money and social standing plays an important role in forming believable public opinion and how sometimes the closest ones fail to support and be there for the victims.
However, the movie could only touch these issues. A little bit more depth and attention to them could have made the movie and the storyline stronger.
It’s a movie I’d remember, for sure. It’s also a movie I wouldn’t watch again. Not because of the heavy subject but, because it’s a movie which could have been something brilliant but missed its mark.
Not a bad movie and not a brilliant one either. Watch it for the sake of watching a story, and watching something that borderline nudges you to make you think about the flaws in our society.
Image source: Goodreads, edited on CanvaPro
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Rajshri Deshpande, who played the fiery protagonist in Trial by Fire along with Abhay Deol speaks of her journey and her social work.
Rajshri Deshpande as the protagonist in ‘Trial by Fire’, the recent Netflix show has received raving reviews along with the show itself for its sensitive portrayal of the Uphaar Cinema Hall fire tragedy, 1997 and its aftermath.
The limited series is based on the book by the same name written by Neelam and Shekhar Krishnamoorthy, who lost both their children in the tragedy. We got an opportunity to interview Rajshri Deshpande who played Neelam Krishnamoorthy, the woman who has been relentlessly crusading in the court for holding the owners responsible for the sheer negligence.
Rajshri Deshpande is more than an actor. She is also a social warrior, the rare celebrity from the film industry who has also gone back to her roots to give to poverty struck farming villages in her native Marathwada, with her NGO Nabhangan Foundation. Of course a chance to speak with her one on one was a must!
“What is a woman’s job, Ramesh? Taking care of parents-in-law, husband, children, home and things at work—all at the same time? She isn’t God or a superhuman."
The arrays of workstations were occupied by people peering into their computer screens. The clicks of keyboard keys were punctuated by the occasional footsteps moving around to brainstorm or collaborate with colleagues in their cubicles. Most employees went about their tasks without looking at the person seated on either side of their workstation. Meenakshi was one of them.
The thirty-one-year-old marketing manager in a leading eCommerce company in India sat straight in her seat, her eyes on the screen, her fingers punching furiously into the keys. She was in a flow and wanted to finish the report while the thoughts and words were coming effortlessly into her mind.
Natu-Natu. The mellifluous ringtone interrupted her thoughts. She frowned at her mobile phone with half a mind to keep it ringing until she noticed the caller’s name on the screen, making her pick up the phone immediately.
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