Fantasia Film Festival 2020: Lucky

A woman’s fight to gain independence is a constant one. In Natasha Kermani’s Lucky, we see a motivational writer struggle to take her own advice within an endless loop fighting an unknown assailant.

May (Brea Grant) is a successful self-help author, but her latest book isn’t doing so well. She’s also trying to reconnect with her husband Ted (Dhruv Uday Singh), but for several nights in a row, May suffers nightly attacks by a masked man. His relentless pursuits always end in his demise, but he seems to escape every time.

When Ted seems relaxed about the attacks seemingly already aware that the stalker will keep coming back, May argues with him, and he leaves her alone to deal with this masked stalker.  She calls the police, tells friends and family about her ordeal, and searches for Ted on her own since help from those around her seems unavailable. This passive atmosphere makes her situation worse, and it’s only a matter of time before the stalker will finally get to her. May must figure out why these seemingly supernatural attacks keep happening before she loses everything.

The film’s star Grant wrote Lucky and, together with Kermani, they create a frustrating world of obstacles for women who seek out their own paths. It’s a fantastical allegory for the constant negative feedback women get time and time again as we attempt to gain access to equality in many situations. What I liked the most was the pat responses cataloged in the script; answers that women receive all the time to pacify our supposed “hysteria” over gender injustice taken as the norm. The ending is an interesting concept that has to sink in well after the film ends, but it’s as realistic as it gets in this fantasy world.

Grant does an excellent job as the confused May, and the cast brilliantly befuddles her with their pat answers of consolation and so-called support. It’s also nice to see diversity within the cast accurately representing the world at large.

For a mind-bending twist on gender tropes, check out Lucky at Fantasia Film Festival, streaming until Sep 2. (Playing with the short Smiley Death Face).

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