Art & Entertainment

‘You Are What You Eat: A Twin Experiment’ On Netflix Review: A Docu-Series Dispelling Age-Old Myths Of Dietary Regimes

Netflix is here with its first docu-series of the year, ‘You Are What You Eat: A Twin Experiment’. Is the series bingeworthy? Or can you simply skip it? Read the full review to find out.

‘You Are What You Eat: A Twin Experiment’

Whenever there is a study done on nutrition or eating patterns, a golden rule is always mentioned - Different people respond differently to the same kind of food items. So, what if the people are not different? How does one achieve that? Well, get identical twins to do the study. That’s exactly what the makers are trying to achieve with this docu-series. They’re trying to eliminate the differences in body types or structures or habits or overall, genetics.

‘You Are What You Eat: A Twin Experiment’: Story

For a scientific experiment at Stanford University, sets of identical twins are brought together. For a period of 8 weeks, the twins are subjected to different sets of food, diet regimes and lifestyles by nutrition scientist Christopher Gardner. While of the twins is put on a vegan diet, and the other one is put on an omnivore diet. The twins are given different sets of foods and checked what sort of differences come up in their physicality, mental state and otherwise. In the initial 4 weeks, they’re supplied with the kind of food that they’re supposed to eat, and for the next 4 weeks, they’ve to maintain that same diet on their own. In the end, the results are revealed about how the two identical twins, with almost the exact same genetics, respond to this. It helps understand what kind of food helps people to be better physically and mentally, and which sets of foods can technically be avoided.

‘You Are What You Eat: A Twin Experiment’: Performance

Being a docu-series, the twins that are selected for the experiment are actually the stars of the show. As they’re not enacting and are being their true selves, the impact of the experiment feels so much more real. It’s the interactions between the twins, the little innuendoes, the chatty backtalk and the funny antics between them that make you connect so well with the docu-series.

‘You Are What You Eat: A Twin Experiment’: Script, Direction & Technical Aspects

The direction by Louie Psihoyos is what gives the docu-series the necessary depth. While he starts off talking and discussing nutrition and diet regimes, he eventually moves on to show a deep-rooted connection to weather patterns and climate changes. Taking the context from eating habits and connecting the dots and taking it to showcase a global crisis towards climate is a masterstroke. It helps viewers connect to the crisis at hand. Not just are we helping our health by choosing to eat better, but also in a way helping nature conserve itself so that our children’s children can also reap the benefits of the environment. Through his narrative, Louie Psihoyos is able to bring that aspect out quite vividly.

Zachary Fink’s cinematography is good, but there is barely any new direction that’s attempted. The interview styles are age-old. Also, the way some of the real-life footages are intermixed with the narrative amidst the interviews is something that has been done and dusted for ages. Documentaries and, especially docu-series, need to reinvent the way they shoot the scenes so that it doesn’t just end up appealing to the intelligentsia and even the snack-grabbing audience can also feel connected to the visuals.

The editing by Federico Rosenzvit with the supervision of Greg O’Toole is good. They’ve managed to keep the docu-series to 4 episodes, which is a good thing. Even if they’ve extended the episode to 44-60 minutes, they’ve managed to keep you interested in the scheme of things.

Laura Karpman and Amelia Allen’s music is a low point in the film. Usually, docu-series have a subtle undertone of poignancy and thoughtfulness which helps the viewer also feel close to the topic being spoken about. But here, that is slightly missing. There are extended scenes where you feel that the background score has been let go off and you’re just listening to the raw interviews. It doesn’t help get that connection, that’s all.

‘You Are What You Eat: A Twin Experiment’: Cast & Crew

Director: Louie Psihoyos

Cast: Real-Life Twins

Available On: Netflix

Duration: 4 Episodes, 44-60 Minutes Each

‘You Are What You Eat: A Twin Experiment’: Can Kids Watch It?


Outlook’s Verdict

‘You Are What You Eat: A Twin Experiment’ is a winner for sure. Not only does it help in dispelling some of the most age-old concepts of diets and food restrictions, but it also helps venture into the correlation between food habits and climatic changes. The basic backdrop of the series is definitely something that you would want to know – which kind of foods (vegan or omnivore) is better suited not just for you now, but also for the longer run. Also, it begins a conversation about which types of foods help conserve the environment for a longer duration. If you’re someone who researches a lot into what food you should put into your mouth and what you shouldn’t, then ‘You Are What You Eat: A Twin Experiment’ is a Must Watch for you. For the rest, it’s Passable. I am going with 3 stars.