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Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Review: Lucky

Director: Natasha Kermani

Screenplay: Brea Grant 

Year: 2021

Recently, Shudder has not only poured pure horror movies into their service, such as the recent “May The Devil Take You Too” and “The Queen of Black Magic”, or some of the last years bests like “Host” or “Anything for Jackson”, but they have made an effort to diversify their offerings and have included movies with social commentary. Some of the topics include homophobia in “Spiral” or abuse towards females in “Hunted”. As part of women in horror month and International Women’s Day, “Lucky” is its new entry, a movie that retakes females’ abuse and the search for equality topics. 

May is a writer whose specialty is self-help books focused on women. One night, a man breaks into May and her husband’s house, who they manage to fight off. However, no matter what they do, this man always finds a way to come back to terrorize her. May now looks for a way in which to escape this never-ending cycle.

What the hell is going on? This is the question that I kept repeating to myself over and over as I watched “Lucky”. My efforts to understand what was going on and anticipate what could be a coherent resolution were simply a complete failure. With this, I’m not seeking to destroy my self-esteem, but rather to prepare the reader who’s reading this review without having watched the movie for what it could expect. 

Brea Grant’s (“12 Hour Shift”) script, along with Natasha Kermani’s (“Imitation Girl”) direction, is not intended to be interpreted literally, as the whole story is just a big metaphor. Consequently, both women grant themselves plenty of freedom in developing the plot that defies logic and coherence. This creates a surrealistic and confusing movie, but that is overflown with creativity in all aspects. Grant and Kermani put the message they want to send above everything else and use the creative licenses they got for themselves to achieve it.

For its message, “Lucky” seeks to bring the female abuse topic to the forefront and how they are underappreciated continuously and downplayed by men and a social system that is mainly male-oriented. However, they fail in two key aspects that devalue their message. One of these is that they try to make the message so loud and clear that it ends up being exaggerated for the context in which it is presented. The other one is much more problematic, as it shows women as perpetual victims and unable to escape the misogynistic cycle and accepting their role as a victim. Maybe in this last aspect, I could have failed in my interpretation, but if this is the case, it serves as an example of a poorly carried massage.

“Lucky” seeks to lay out an issue that has been affecting our society for a long time in female abuse and the search for equality, but its ideas are as confusing as its plot. During its development, you are always trying to interpret this big metaphor without much success, just to find out that this movie is not meant to be interpreted literally but philosophically. The intricate plot, great visuals, and outstanding musical score make “Lucky” a movie so entertaining that it submerges the viewer in the exercise of trying to figure out the puzzle, but the way in which it lays out its problem and commentary are contradictory and don’t do much for pushing forward the efforts seeking equality for women, as well as being a clear example of defective storytelling.

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