Look Both Ways: Navigating Life’s Crossroads
In the realm of “what ifs,” the eternal conundrum that haunts us all, Wanuri Kahiu’s Look Both Ways takes us on a journey of self-discovery and the exploration of parallel lives. This delightful comedy-drama embraces the notion that life is what we make it, even when faced with diverging paths. With a touch of Cheesy charm, Look Both Ways reminds us that happiness lies within ourselves, and that destiny can lead us to unexpected places.
Two Paths, One Destination
In Look Both Ways, we are introduced to Natalie (played by Lili Reinhart) on the night of her college graduation. As she takes a pregnancy test, her life splits into two parallel timelines. In one, she is not pregnant and pursues her dream of becoming an animator in the vibrant city of Los Angeles. In the other, she embraces motherhood and returns to her Texas hometown. While an easy interpretation of the film would reduce it to a mere conflict between “baby” and “career,” Kahiu’s work transcends such simplicity. It explores the notion that our envisioned futures may not align with reality, but it is the journey itself that truly matters. Simply put, life is what we make of it. Both versions of Natalie experience loss and setbacks, yet they find their own unique paths to happiness.
The Power of Choice
Look Both Ways diverges from the concept of fate prevalent in films like Sliding Doors. Instead, it emphasizes our ability to shape our own happiness. Kahiu’s film suggests that the ideal future can vary greatly depending on different versions of ourselves. Pregnant Natalie mourns the life she could have had in Los Angeles, but discovers the transformative power of motherhood and an altered set of priorities. Not-pregnant Natalie mourns the demise of her carefully planned five-year path, yet seizes the setbacks as opportunities for self-discovery and personal growth.
It’s worth noting that Look Both Ways embodies a degree of cheesiness, but this only enhances its introspective nature without becoming overwhelming. The film allows both versions of Natalie to navigate their lives independently, leading to their own realizations. Lili Reinhart delivers a remarkable performance in what essentially amounts to a dual role. She imbues both Natalies with a sense of something missing, which gradually transforms into a contented glow by the film’s conclusion. While the film dances on the edge of stereotype, showcasing “mom” Natalie in duller colors, with a bob haircut and frumpier dresses, it manages to steer clear of distraction. Reinhart’s subtle performances radiate warmth and believability, captivating the audience as imperfect yet engaging characters.
Supporting Roles and Missed Opportunities
However, the presence of two separate Natalies on screen does present challenges when it comes to the supporting cast. Danny Ramirez as baby daddy Gabe and David Corenswet as aspiring producer Jake are the love interests of each respective Natalie, yet they are not granted substantial emotional depth. Andrea Savage and Luke Wilson, portraying Natalie’s parents, along with Aisha Dee as her best friend, unfortunately receive limited material and fail to evolve beyond one-dimensional characters and sounding boards for Natalie’s inner thoughts. There is a missed opportunity to explore the dynamics between Natalie and these important relationships in each version of her life, adding complexity to the central idea of the film.
A Light and Intimate Journey
Ultimately, Look Both Ways stands as a lighthearted and intimate story that showcases how a small plastic stick can alter the course of one’s future. It exudes warmth and sweetness, even though it can be occasionally clunky. Anchored by a solid central performance from Lili Reinhart, the film reminds us that everything will be okay. It inspires us to face life’s crossroads with confidence, knowing that we possess the strength to navigate any path that lies before us. Every version of ourselves has the capacity to flourish and find their way.
Look Both Ways, a film that combines comedy and drama, invites us to reflect on the choices we make and the impact they have on our lives. Wanuri Kahiu’s exploration of parallel lives serves as a gentle reminder that life is what we choose to make of it. By embracing the unexpected and finding contentment within ourselves, we can uncover happiness even in the face of diverging paths.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How does Look Both Ways differ from similar films about parallel lives?
While films like Sliding Doors focus on the concept of fate, Look Both Ways emphasizes personal agency and the power we hold to shape our own happiness. It asks us to consider how different versions of ourselves can forge unique paths to fulfillment.
2. Is Look Both Ways suitable for a younger audience?
Yes, Look Both Ways is appropriate for viewers with a high school education. Its relatable themes and engaging storytelling make it accessible and enjoyable for a wide range of audiences.
3. How does Lili Reinhart’s performance elevate the film?
Lili Reinhart delivers a nuanced portrayal of two versions of the main character, Natalie. Her performances add depth and authenticity, allowing the audience to connect with the imperfect yet relatable journey of self-discovery.
4. Does Look Both Ways offer a clear conclusion?
Look Both Ways presents a conclusion that instills hope and reassurance. It highlights the resilience of the human spirit and encourages viewers to approach life’s uncertainties with confidence.
5. Where can I watch Look Both Ways?
Look Both Ways is available for global viewing on Netflix. So grab your popcorn and embark on a heartwarming adventure of self-reflection and personal growth!