We all have been in those times, where we think, what if I chose a different direction for my younger self, so I would be in a better position? What if, I had the choice 5 years back, so I could make the current scenario work?
Well, that’s life.
We have to choose one thing and leave one thing. That’s exactly what you’ll see in this new dramatic yet light-hearted Netflix film ‘Look Both Ways.’
Lili Reinhart plays the character of Natalie. In the movie, she is living the life of an aspiring illustrator and animator. Tables turn when the pregnancy leads her on two divergent paths.
The movie goes on quickly and we watch the parallel versions of Natalie. One is as a lady who gets pregnant after a one-night stand on the eve of her college graduation, and the other one is as planned. Moving to LA, doing her dream job, and accomplishing her 5-year plan. But what actually does she choose? Watch the trailer and we’ll discuss it later:
Initial release: August 17, 2022
Director: Wanuri Kahiu
Runtime: 1h 50m
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Basically, the film lets us witness Natalie living different lives simultaneously in two separate universes.
Netflix's latest original film, Look Both Ways, landed almost a few days back and it quickly made it to the number one movie spot on the streaming site.
Sounds promising, so let’s see what it brings to us!
** Please note that for the authentic review, we are adding a few spoilers below. **
The Perfect Cast:
All the performers in the movie are duly involved in the character thus making it a perfect blend of a feel-good movie. In the film, we see:
- Lili Reinhart as Natalie
- Danny Ramirez as Gabe
- David Corenswet as Jake
- Aisha Dee as Cara
- Andrea Savage as Tina
- Luke Wilson as Rick
- Nia Long as Lucy
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The Sentimental Storyline:
The tale is about one lead character, Natalie, who is a young artist wishing to be a successful animation filmmaker. She makes a 5-year plan with her friend Gabe. She dreams about moving to Los Angeles, after graduation and working with the best animation studio.
However, just a few days before her final graduation party, overwhelmed by emotions and planning a new life ahead, she chooses to sleep with her friend Gabe.
Right then and there, things take a new turn.
On the eve of her graduation party, she finds herself sick of throwing up, when her best friend, Cara (Aisha Dee) asks to take a pregnancy test. At that moment, she is surrounded by hundreds of thoughts of which one is primary: What if the test turns out to be positive?
It is here that we see Natalie’s life diverges into parallel realities.
Now as the movie progresses, it shows the consequence of two versions of her life decisions.
Reality 1: Her life shows that she decides to go with the child, become a young mother, and bids farewell to her five-year plan and life in LA as an animation artist.
Reality 2: The as-everything-planned schedule, where she explores her hopes and desires that she works hard to be a renowned animation artist.
In both parallel realities, Natalie must find her voice, do the originally inspired work, and figure out what she wants out of life.
The amazing part of the story is that director Wanuri Kahiu did not try to emphasize career or motherhood. In fact, she related the plot with the audience while exploring the pressing issues among young adults these days.
That’s why it is called, Look Both Ways!
The movie hosts as a medium to rethink your life choices too. However, which of these two realities becomes a successful one, to know that, you have to watch the movie.
Reasons to Watch Look Both Ways:
The Splendid Parallel Visuals:
Director Wanuri Kahiu did a great job by putting two lives in parallel, and what a visual innovation it is. The movie got praised by the audience for the two-roads-diverged film formula.
Two of the lives are separate yet connected. She cuts the two timelines together quickly.
One thing worth mentioning here is that the movie doesn’t get boring at any point, goes speedily from one phase to another, and holds the usual alternating-segments structure quite brilliantly.
Getting into the shoes of Natalie, Wanuri has created a few scenes in sketches and drawings. Occasionally, she lets images overlay, creating a kind of temporal split-screen.
It’s beautiful how she struggles in both lives, and how she manages to move forward, and with the great visuals, nothing seems confusing to the viewers.
The Supporting Characters:
Besides the main character, Natalie, who looks like a Disney princess but her life is not a fairytale.
She goes through very realistic ups and downs but the best part is the support from the people around her. One reason to watch Look Both Ways is the perfect balancing of supporting actors while not stealing the limelight. Gabe has very few dialogues but his presence in the movie is powerful. Similarly, Natalie’s parents are so pleased to see them on the screen.
Not to forget Cara, a friend we all need in our lives!
The REAL Message:
The true lesson or moral of the story lies in the ending.
The director wishes to tell us her narrative of experiencing life in two different ways. And that’s true. In real life, we all have multiple options at points, and they all can lead you down and, whichever one you take, it can still lead to where you want to be.
Smartness is accepting life and being content with what you choose.
Same as in Natalie’s life, both versions of reality have their trials and tribulations. The reality of the negative pregnancy test leaves Natalie with a successful career and a man whom she loves. The reality of the positive test leaves her with a successful career and a man whom she loves, plus a daughter who inspired her career.
But all is well that ends well!
Audience’s Take on “Look Both Ways”?
Before the talk about how people are feeling about this heart-warming Netflix original, let us share the perspective of the Riverdale actress Lili Reinhart.
In an interview, she told that she was attracted to the role because, as said:
"She loved how there was no wrong path in life for Natalie, and she fell in love with the character."
Now, come take a look at the audience’s words:
So true. Natalie’s role is refreshing and positive undoubtedly.
Gladly, viewers are appreciating the smooth-flowing concept and the lesson behind it.
Oh yes! Life is a one-time thing so live it!
It’s not wrong, viewers are the best critics too. They notice every little detail.
For the ending of the movie ‘Look Both Ways,’ Lili herself said:
"Here's a happy ending, and there's not one life that's worse or better than the other.”
When she was asked about the true essence of the movie, she concluded with:
“We want people to take away from the film that you have options in life. Don’t think that your life has to be in a certain way for you to feel happy."
Look Both Ways: Final Words – FAYVO’s Take
As you are waiting for the final question, skip it or stream it.
So, it is definitely a worth-watching movie.
Our movie buffs at FAYVO gave a positive thumbs-up review for the movie Look Both Ways as it illustrates the endless possibilities that can be found in unexpected plans.
Additionally, in the chaos of this world, it is a much-needed reminder that despite all the hardships and difficulties, things will work out.
While there are plenty of movies that have presented the theme of embracing motherhood at a young age, this new film has also addressed postpartum depression and the existential crisis of being a young mother. It perfectly portrays the struggles of being successful in a career, managing life with a baby, and trying to find a voice as an artist.
And we must say – Look Both Ways has done a beautiful job while doing that.
Movies Like “Look Both Ways”
If you love the idea of Look Both Ways, you’d also like watching Sliding Door, The Family Man, About Time, The Lake House, and The Good Night.
These are all comedy and drama genre-related movies and in fact, these movies will make you feel like you are watching an extension of Natalie herself.
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