Look Both Ways (2022)

dir. Wanuri Kahiu

Look Both Ways is but the latest take on the Sliding Doors concept of a person’s life branching off in different potential directions. The movie follows college graduate Natalie across two potential realities: one where she has a baby, and one where she doesn’t. Her life with her baby-daddy is more domestic, while the timeline where she doesn’t have a baby is more glamorous but unstable. Of course the movie states that she winds up happy either way, and actually even takes a rare step of letting Natalie find different love interests rather than indicating one particular person is her soulmate. But this vague good work is momentously undone when the very premise of the film is so infuriating. Because it’s not that Natalie chooses whether or not to have a baby, it’s that she simply is pregnant in one timeline and isn’t in the other. So it’s not about free will or the choices you make – it’s more that life happens to you and you have to go along with it, which is an utterly absurd message to send to any young woman who finds herself unexpectedly pregnant. Along with the banal characters, idiotic dialogue, and frankly unbelievable conceit that Natalie’s incredibly shoddy art could lend her professional success in any imaginable universe, Look Both Ways is far better not looked at at all.

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