Film: Look Both Ways

Meryl's dad's just passed away. She's stuck in her job and life, unable to make any real progress. Nick's diagnosed with testicular cancer, and it has already spread to his lung. Andy's recently divorced, and his new girlfriend, Anna announces that she's pregnant. There is also Julia, whose partner was killed in an accident, and the Train Driver, who was the driver of the train that killed Julia's partner. Behind the story, a larger tragedy is also occurring, the Arnow Hill train accident, which killed many people and left many suffering.

The film has quite a serious undertone, dealing with issues like grief, tragedy, death, dissatisfaction, loneliness, uncertainty, danger... and exploring how the characters go through their problems and manage to escape from the darker side of life. Despite so, the director manages to keep the film quite light, rather than getting all bogged down into the philosophical or psychological. She keeps balance between the two sides of life, bright and dark, through focusing not only on the main characters but also on the side characters, justaposing the tragedy with the urban, common happiness, as well as through using techniques like animation, photomontage, body language to show the characters' emotional turmoil, rather than indulging in wangst dialogues and existential discussions. The film's setting is also chosen wisely, a sunlit typical Adelaide suburb, with typical people and typical Australian laid-back way of life. The film, therefore, has a very Australian feel to it, rather than trying to conform to Hollywood standard.

Be careful not to confuse this with the trope of the same name.


This film provides examples of: