Looking at Life in Different Ways

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“At the end of Look Both Ways, the film-maker convinces viewers that the characters are capable of looking at their lives in different ways.” Do you agree?

In the film Look Both Ways, director Sarah Watt explores the theme that perspective can determine experience in life. The film demonstrates that life is an unscripted event where no one knows the final outcome and we can often become overwhelmed by how seemingly little control we exert over the navigation of our lives By using main characters Nick, Meryl and Andy, she suggests that changing a person’s outlook on life can enrich that person and help overcoming problems. Nick learnt that cancer does not necessarily implicate death, Meryl freed herself from her fears by realising risks must be taken. Andy became aware of the value of life and those around him. The film suggests that to find fulfillment in life we must learn to think in new ways, to look at situations from different angles.

Nick changes his perspective and overcomes his preoccupation with death. Nick uses his camera as a barrier between him and the death and suffering in the world. He then views the images he took on the computer screen, of poverty, disease, terrorism, further alienating him from reality. However when he is diagnosed with cancer he changes this view, now that death and suffering applies to himself. Nick sees his life 'flash before his eyes.' As his fears begin to take over him, he starts ‘seeing death everywhere this weekend’. Flashbacks are used to show us his father who died of the same disease. His fear of death is triggered by the painful death of his father. Nick is mortified that his future, like a train track, will end there as well. However, an insightful conversation with his mother helps him realise that “it doesn't matter how life ends it matters how it was.” Nick makes the decision to fight the cancer as he races the freight train as though metaphorically challenging death. When Nick meets Andy by the train...
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