After watching ‘Look Both Ways’ for the first time I was a bit disappointed because it seemed like it had been cheaply made and they had taken some shortcuts. I was especially disappointed in the ending, it seemed like it had brushed over some major points. The movie itself was quite boring and the characters were hardly enjoyable to watch.
The whole theme and story of the movie was the reaction to one man dying in a train crash. All of the characters are inter-related from this incident and all of the characters have their own depressing story. You have Nick suffering from cancer, Meryl’s apparent battle with some form of depression, Andy’s battle with not only himself but his wife and Anna about children, Anna with her unwanted pregnancy, Julie has to deal with the pain of losing her partner Rob, who was the man who died in the train incident and finally the train driver who must deal with the overwhelming guilt he feels after hitting rob on the tracks. All of these issues and problems dominate the story and it relates into the theme which remains very depressing and down cast throughout the entire film.
I think that the director’s main aim was to try and inter-relate the stories and the characters as much as possible. We see Nick and Andy as friends and co-workers share different relations, Andy’s ex-wife has trust issues and doesn’t like to leave her kids with him. Andy and Anna have children problems of their own and Andy’s kids attend his boss Phil’s Childs birthday party. Even the train driver and Julie’s story inter-connects when he comes to apologise for killing her partner. So you can see that the director has aimed to inter-relate the stories of all the characters.
As well as inter-relating the storylines another technique used by the director, is to include the actors thoughts in the form of photomontages, short cartoons or videos. Surprisingly even though it is an Australian film I hadn’t heard any of the songs in the film. I had however seen some of the characters before in shows like “Round The Twist”, “Playschool”, “Sea- change”.
As it was set in Australia it was easy to relate to. I could tell it was Australian because of the scenery. Details like road signs, roads, people and fashion all help detail the Australian culture and climate. Overall the movie appears to be quite sad dramatic and depressing. But it is in the end a story of survival with not only Nick apparently making a recovery from cancer but also the little girl from the Arnow hill train disaster. It is a sad journey but a journey of survival nevertheless.