What is the Plot Twist in Luckiest Girl Alive?

October 24, 2022
M.N. Miller 0
Features, Film, RSC Originals
Loading JustWatch data...

What is the plot twist in the Netflix film Luckiest Girl Alive? We deep dive into the topic-filled film and bring insight into the ending

Luckiest Girl Alive has become one of the most talked about and polarizing new films to stream in years. The film, starring Mila Kunis, Chiara Aurelia, Finn Wittrock, Connie Britton, Scoot McNairy, and Connie Britton, handles sensitive subject matters with heavy themes but is also a highly entertaining mystery. Kunis has been praised for her performance, but the film only has a 43% approval rate on Rotten Tomatoes. However, Ready Steady Cut calls director Mike Barker’s film, “Visceral while also empowering.”

Luckiest Girl Alive plot summary

The official plot synopsis for Luckiest Girl Alive:

“A writer’s (Mila Kunis) perfectly crafted New York City life starts to unravel when a true-crime documentary forces her to confront her harrowing high school history and question the choices she made as a teenager.” – Netflix 

Is Luckiest Girl Alive based on a book?

Luckiest Girl Alive is adapted from the smash hit and New York Times bestseller by Jessica Knoll. The film has garnered some polarizing controversy over the past month, mainly because the film deals with the triggering issues of gang rape and gun violence in schools, which are graphically depicted. Ms. Knoll wrote the source material and the screenplay as a metaphor for her experiences of being sexually assaulted in high school. The interpretation of the film’s themes is woven into the story of school violence, as a metaphor for her revenge feelings of feeling frightened, ashamed, and unwarranted guilt, and symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder.

The novel hit bookstores in 2015 and sold almost 500,000 copies while spending four months on the bestseller list. While Knoll drew upon her own experience, this story is a work of fiction. However, the themes of rape culture and victim blaming ring true here.

What is the Plot Twist in Luckiest Girl Alive?

The plot in Luckiest Girl Alive is a long and twisty road. Ani is a victim of sexual assault and survived a school shooting. There is a question about her involvement in the tragedy and the dynamic between Ani’s attackers, whose fates we will discuss below.

First, we learn that Ani is not the main character’s real name. It is TifAni, and she changed her name. Only a handful of people close to her know about this secret. Her mother (Connie Britton), of course. TifAni’s boss (Jessica Beale), her best friend, and her fiancé (Finn Wittrock). We learn this when a true crime documentary filmmaker tracks her down to get her side of the story. What exactly is that? Years ago, Ani was a survivor of a school shooting that killed five students. Shortly after, she was accused by one of the victims of being one of the conspirators. That young man is Dean. The survivor is now in a wheelchair. Dean has made gun control laws his mission and is running for a Senate seat.

As the story unfolds, there is a horrible and nightmarish twist to the story. But what is the plot twist in Luckiest Girl Alive?

We learn that Ani was raped by three of her classmates when she was a sophomore. Typical of rape culture, she is made to feel she was at fault and her feelings were wrong for the sexual assault by her abusers. Also by school officials and her mother. She tells her favorite teacher but refuses to press charges out of feelings of shame and unwarranted guilt.

Shortly after, TifAni begins to hang out with Arthur and Ben again, who both have been harboring revenge fantasies of making their abusers pay. Their bullies are also TifAni’s rapists. Without knowing it, while at the school, both of her friends set off explosives in the school and stormed the facility with assault rifles. Two of her rapists were killed in the shooting.

Does the question remain, what did TifAni do or not do? Well, the ending of Luckiest Girl Alive gives audiences that answer. 

There is a question if she could have helped one of her attackers, but she lets go of the door when she sees Ben raise the rifle behind him. The third rapist is Dean, the man in the wheelchair running for senate. When trying to escape, Dean is injured and on the cafeteria floor. Arthur corners them and gives the gun to TifAni, giving her the opportunity for “payback” on Dean.

While she ponders the idea, she hesitates, and Arthur grabs the weapon from her hands, then shoots Dean, paralyzing him for life. However, she grabs a knife from her back pocket, stabs her friend, and kills him.

What are the differences between the Film and the Book in the Luckiest Girl Alive?

The differences between the book and the movie range from subtle to obvious. They are:

  • In the book, Ani grabs the gun from Arthur and shoots him.
  • Another interesting plot point is TifAni’s favorite teacher, Mr. Larson, who counsels her and even explores an attraction they have for each other. If you watch the film, there is chemistry there, and I wonder if there are any deleted scenes between these two. 
  • Ani ends her engagement with her fiance on a flight from the rehearsal dinner, not during the gathering.
  • Ani takes a job at a smaller magazine. In the movie, she leaves her fiance to take her dream job at the New York Times
  • At the end of the novel, she takes on the persona of TifAni FaNelli, while in the movie, she uses this persona to hide the fact that she was the student accused of being part of the planning of the school shooting.
  • Dean and the documentary are written as plot twists and surprises in the book but are used as a storytelling tool in the movie to spark the film’s narrative.
  • Ani vocally “jokes” about the people she would like to see pay to Arthur in the novel, but this is avoided in the movie.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.