The Accidental Twins (2024) Movie Review – A real-life story of brothers from another mother

A real-life story of brothers from another mother

How would you react if you saw somebody who looked just like you?

Would you assume you had been the victim of somebody’s cloning experiment? Would you think you had somehow stepped into an alternate world? Or would you realize that you had an identical twin brother or sister that you didn’t know existed?

In the Netflix documentary, The Accidental Twins, we meet Jorge and Carlos, two men from the cosmopolitan city of Bogotá who had been brought up to believe they were non-identical twins. Little did they know that 150 miles away, in the remote village of La Paz, lived William and Wilber, two men who looked exactly like them.

These other men hadn’t been cloned by a mad scientist. They weren’t existing in another dimension either, despite the differences in their surroundings. They were the identical twin brothers of Jorge and Carlos. Neither pair knew of one another’s existence until a friend of Jorge’s alerted him to the fact when she told him she had seen William.

Initially, the woman thought it was Jorge she had seen working at a butcher’s shop. She smiled and waved to him and was surprised that the man she assumed was Jorge didn’t seem to recognize her. After doing a little bit of detective work on social media, she discovered the truth about his identity and showed Jorge a picture of the man who turned out to be his real-life brother. 

Jorge was thrilled at the discovery and eagerly arranged a meeting with his and Carlos’s twin. However, Carlos was less enthused to meet his sibling. In fact, he didn’t want anything to do with him due to concerns that he wouldn’t be accepted by the family he didn’t know. He was also worried about the impact it would have on his relationship with Jorge.

Despite his fears, Carlos did meet his brother, though not by choice, as can be seen via camera phone footage in the documentary. It’s clear from that footage that he wasn’t as comfortable as Jorge was with this new family discovery. As to what happened next…well, you’re going to have to watch the Netflix doc to find out. 

So, how did the mix-up happen? This is one question that will be on your mind when you begin to watch the documentary. The answer to that question isn’t fully known. The two sets of twins were born in December 1988 at the Materno Infantil Hospital in Bogotá. William and Jorge were born on the 21st of the month, and Carlos and Wilber were born a day later. 

At some point, the babies were switched and placed with the wrong parents. Interviewed is one of the former nurses from the hospital who wonders if the mixup was because one of the babies lost their identifying wristband. The truth will probably never be known but the upshot of the switch is that each twin went home with the wrong brother. For Carlos and William, they went home with the wrong parents too. 

All four men are interviewed in the documentary, though it’s Jorge and Carlos who get the most screen time. They each describe how they felt when they discovered the identities of their twins. Through camera phone footage, we also see the moment when Jorge (without Carlos) had his first introduction to William.

The stories we hear are mostly positive, though Carlos expresses his initial concerns to the camera. We also hear from a psychologist who talks about the similarities between Jorge and William, and Carlos and Wilbur, in their personalities and their characteristics. Even though the brothers lived miles apart from one another, with different upbringings and life opportunities, they still shared the same traits. We learn the reason for their similarities from a geneticist.

Also interviewed in the documentary is the mother of Carlos and Wilbur, who talks to the camera about Carlos’ initial uneasiness in meeting her. Sadly, we don’t hear from the mother of Jorge and William as she sadly passed away some time ago. Jorge gets very emotional when talking about his mum and William shares his regret that he never got to meet her. 

The Accidental Twins is an engaging documentary, more so because of how incredible the story is. The hospital mix-up and the eventual discovery of it is like something from a work of fiction. But it’s all true – one in each pair of twins had been given to the wrong mother. As they grew up, they thought they had non-identical twin brothers until a chance event made them realize their real twin brothers were living together some distance away.

So, the next time you see somebody who looks like you, or if a friend tells you they have seen your double, you might want to pause for thought. Could you have a twin that you don’t know about? 

Feel free to check out more of our movie reviews here!

  • Verdict - 7.5/10

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