[Nightstream Capsule Review] 'Lucky' is a Bitingly Feminist Dissection of a Universal Fear
Have you ever asked a woman what her greatest fears are?...
...Asked what she would do if certain circumstances of society were different? I know what my answers are and, somehow, director Natasha Kermani and writer Brea Grant tapped into both flawlessly with Lucky. I’ve been chasing this film all across the festival circuit, so getting the chance to catch its U.S. Premiere at Nightstream Film Fest was a highlight of my coverage.
Surreal, poignant, and bitingly feminist, Lucky is the story of self-help author May Ryer (Brea Grant) trying to survive and protect herself from a mysterious figure who sets out to attack her every night following a home invasion. Trouble is, no one around her seems to believe what she’s saying. They aren’t taking her seriously and, on more than one occasion, seem almost to be mocking her. It’s a scathing dissection of a universal yet intimate fear and how hard it is to get people to break away from their preconceived narratives and take you seriously in a world that feels trapped in a twisted cycle of ignored violence.
Women-led horror is an important side of the genre that offers perspectives and angles that would otherwise go uncovered, and Kermani and Grant seem to know the power of bringing such articulate visions of fear to the table. Grant brings a humor and vitality to May that connected with me even more than I expected as she fought to be heard in a crowd of people who had finished listening before she’d even opened her mouth, and fought for her life against a persistent force it seemed only she could see until it was too late. From her style of fighting her attacker to her exasperated facial expressions while she listened to the police repeat the same line for the fourth time in a week, Grant made May realistic and relatable in such a way that I found myself and some of my past experiences in her. Watching her push forward in her never-ending fight for her life, completely aware of the odds—he’s stronger than her, and he’s not afraid to keep coming back no matter what she does—and of what she has to do if she wants to keep going brought a small spark of hope to what is, truly, set up to be a hopeless situation.
By Katelyn Nelson
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