A Lucky Story
Lucky starts with a premise that’s slowly growing more familiar with every passing usage of it. May (Brea Grant) is a self-help author living with her partner, Ted (Dhruv Uday Singh), and having what could be considered a relatively comfortable life when suddenly a man breaks into their home.
Things become weird when Ted informs May that this is actually a daily occurrence, seems every night this man has been breaking into their home to try and kill them. Soon May learns that Ted was right, every night she ends up having to face this masked stranger in a strange combination of Groundhog Day and The Strangers and somehow she has to find a way to break the cycle of violence that she finds herself living with.
Yep, in Lucky we have another film lifting the looping day idea from Groundhog Day, albeit this time it’s just one event that loops instead of the entire day. This is handy for creating a solid bit of tension, we know that every night the main character will have to deal with a potential killer and gives the film a pulse. The killer in question is genuinely creepy, a man in a long coat with a clear mask that creates an almost other-worldly effect.
Every time he pops up there’s a decent fight with the main character who almost has the upper hand, but then our bad guy vanishes in the way that a slasher villain would (appears to be dead until no one is looking, then promptly runs away). This pattern repeats throughout Lucky with us slowly seeing May turn into a stronger woman as she goes.
This all leads to a genuinely brilliant climax that, while I won’t spoil, does open up Lucky from a home invasion movie with a twist to a film with a strong feminist message that expands the universe that this film takes place in. It’s a great little ending scene that makes interesting use of lighting and camera trickery to explore the complexities of the subject material… and also opens up a large bag of questions that the film has little interest in answering.
Some big questions I had after Lucky were things like how May didn’t know about these events happening until Ted tells her, since the killer seems to be constantly going for May you think she’d be the one to explain it all. There’s also just a general question of what this killer’s motive is – sure we’re given a meta-textual explanation at the end that he’s there to basically represent the film’s themes but in reality, there’s no reason why this guy keeps turning up and attacking May.
I don’t need a detailed reason, but I need something. I certainly need something to tell me why May didn’t know until she was told by Ted that this kept happening because after that moment she’s always in the know and it’s just… it feels weird.
What also feels weird is the final sequence which opens up the universe considerably but leads to an unsatisfying ending that will just leave the viewer confused. Don’t go into this expecting to have any questions answered, that’s not happening here. Questions will be asked, you will certainly wonder why certain events are happening, but you’re not going to be getting an answer any time soon.
Lucky has a lot going for it, from great leading performances to a good atmosphere and some genuinely interesting ideas. On the whole, it’s a good film with an important message that it mostly gets across, but there are enough lingering questions that it can become a tiny bit distracting. It feels like another few looks at the scripting stage to iron out some of these issues might’ve helped, but it’s still a pretty good film despite that.
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