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360 is a beautifully made film that oozes class and tells us something about where we are at as human beings in the 21st century. The film makers and actors should be applauded for this huge achievement. The Cast are made up of fine actors from around the world and headed by sympathetic and unshowy performances from Anthony Hopkins, Rachel Weisz and Jude Law. Ensemble films like this don't always work, but in the hands of a master director such as Meirelles, Peter Morgan's script comes to life in a vivid and evocative way. I love the way the story progresses from one pair of characters to the next and the cinematography is superb. Verticals and horizontals are crisply defined and move into split-screen that unites the stories. 360 is a film with real heart and real purpose made by real talent.
I ran across 360 by chance and really enjoyed it. Yet, when searching
for more information in internet the generic title proved difficult to
google. After some clicking things started to unfold: the same author
directed City of God and the movie is a loose adaptation of one Arthur
Schnitzler's play. Although i can't say much about the latter, the
former impressed me even more since i've enjoyed that movie, as well.
The cast is brilliant with famous actors popping in and out of view and blending discreetly with otherwise great performance of less known colleagues. We effortlessly move with them across cities, countries and continents as it otherwise is the case in globally interconnected world at the start of the 21st century.
The more i think about 360 the more interesting details i discover in retrospect. Probably the strongest message is that there is a good seed even in the worst of us. The other is that we all eventually get what we want but some of us also get what they deserve.
What i particularly enjoyed is that a lot of things are either foreshadowed or left unsaid. This gives room for viewer's imagination to kick in, which, in turn, is rather uncommon in the era of realism and boredom in movies with artistic tendencies.
To sum it up, the only reason my vote is two stars shy of the best note is that i understand how this kind of movie might not be everyone's cup of tea.
360, the new film from director Fernando Meirelles and screenwriter
Peter Morgan, follows in the tradition of the many globe-trotting
ensemble cast films we've seen emerge steadily throughout the past
decade-plus. It weaves together a large group of characters, crossing
their paths through work and sexual interactions, but it does it in a
more low-key way than a lot of its predecessors have done. There aren't
any big dramatic moments to make these characters connected forever,
but rather it's played out in a soft, more authentic fashion. There's
definitely some exaggeration for the sake of being played out in film,
as several of the characters engage in extra-marital affairs or a life
of crime, but I felt that they way they crossed paths was often more
organic that you usually see. A lot of these intersecting lives dramas
play big on those reveals of "That's the guy from the other person's
story!" but 360 never burdens itself with those kind of movie moments.
Unlike those films, this one plays out more in a series of vignettes, focusing on each character for a certain amount of time and then moving on to the next one. It doesn't try to jump back and forth throughout the film, spending a minute or two with one character then the same time with another, then back to the first one for the same time. Rather, each section plays out for their duration and then we connect them to the next one, which plays out to its completion. I felt that this presented a more fluid look into the lives of the characters, as we got to see them fully developed without having to abruptly jump to someone else, as so often happens.
Like a lot of these kind of films, particularly ones that work with this more separated structure, there are some plots that work better than others and some that aren't so good. There's a love story between a dentist, played by Jamel Debbouze, and his employee that doesn't seem to fit in well with the rest of the film. However, there is also what was by far my favorite plot in the film, concerning three characters who are trapped together at an airport overnight when it's shut down due to poor whether. Anthony Hopkins is a man looking for his missing daughter, who runs into Maria Flor's Laura on the plane, a woman who is heading home after finding out that her boyfriend was cheating on her. They meet and become friendly, yet when she comes across Ben Foster's Tyler in the airport diner she decides to spend her time with him instead, seizing the moment the way that she never has in her life before. What Laura doesn't know is that Tyler is a convicted child molester who was just recently released from prison, struggling with his transition back into the real world.
360 connects most of its characters through sexual interactions, whether it's illegal prostitution or adulterous affairs, but what is interesting is how the characters respond to any of the given situations. It's a film that deals in this world of sin, and the characters react in many different ways. Some fully embrace living in that world, some tease with the notion of it but ultimately back off, some are deep within it and trying to escape and others unknowingly slide themselves into the thick of it all. Each character has a unique experience with the sin, and it's Tyler who I felt the most emotionally invested in. Many of the characters are just beginning their journey into the darkness, but Tyler is trying his hardest to crawl out of it.
Foster portrays him as a man who is uncomfortable in his own skin, who knows that his deep urges are wrong and is desperately trying to quell them from emerging once again. He's trying to get clean and when he gets stuck in that airport with all of those people, or tempted by the beautiful young Laura, it results in tragic implications for his own fragile psyche. Ben Foster is, for my money, the most gifted actor of his generation and I think this is a performance that not only shows his talent as an actor, but also shows his great range. He doesn't play the explosive menace audiences are used to seeing him as, but rather as a different kind of monster; one fighting everything within himself not to be that. It's a performance where those explosions are just underneath the surface, fighting to get out but he'll do anything in his power to stop them, and Foster nails it with a maturity and resilience that I found incredibly effective.
360 certainly dances with the conventions of this subgenre (one that I admittedly am not a fan of) but I think it does enough differently to somewhat set itself apart. It avoids the melodrama, which is noteworthy given how easy it would have been to cave into that, and instead presents a more soft and observant approach to these characters. There aren't a lot of big emotional scenes or dramatic payoffs, but rather an exploration into a moment in their lives that could be significant to them but could also just be one part of their overall journey. It's a slice-of-life drama that doesn't give us the full picture, but instead shows us parts of these characters; which could ultimately be a negative or positive thing, depending on how you see it.
As the beginning of the story goes, life will eventually present us
with two possible directions: the one we choose to follow is for no one
but us to decide.
"360" is the latest movie by Fernando Meirelles, a man with some good achievements under his belt. And taking life in its pure existence is a great source of inspiration for his work, where it is hard not to relate to. This time Meirelles brings us a beautiful concocted plan where some aspects of daily life are put into context, mixing different Nationalities and aspirations, dreams and sometimes tragedies that come together full circle, as the title itself states. It is moving, but never funny. Intelligent and simple, granting almost two hours of reflective observation that may teach us one thing or another. All stories are able to stand alone for themselves, but they are smartly interconnected, showing life never differentiates wherever it is at. Beautifully done.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
i was really offended by the average notation of 5.7 for this brilliant
cinéma. a part from the talented director, the cast alone as excellent
performers ça donne envie de voir ce film.
i regret not watching in theater, but i enjoyed this movie A LOT. It made me appreciate the aesthetics of a more human-based cinema , rethink again and re watch the movie. this film blows your mind
Mise-apart from the the characters, and the stories of their choices, responsibilities and change of point of view. . the cinematography was so close to the human relationships. the inter-connection of lives all this beautifully performed by all the cast, needless to say it's always a pleasure watching some HOPKINS' MOMENTS.
i would definitely recommend this movie, although i think it would be really appreciated after a deuxième read-watch. by the way excellent sound and music.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I watched the film at the Toronto International Film Festival three
days ago. 360 is very multi-threaded, and there are probably 8-10
"main" characters equally in focus, and many of them are played by
relatively unknown actors whose primary languages are not English.
Each character is multicultural or itinerant one way or another, and connected to a few other characters as though they were international flight hubs themselves. Many modes of transportation are cleverly used as contact points or transition points for those characters. Although it's sometimes very hard to grasp all the relationships at once, different characters, languages and locations make watching this film an interesting experience nonetheless.
Out of those many stars, perhaps Anthony Hopkins, Maria Flor, Jude Law, Gabriela Marcinkova play slightly more important roles than other actors (it's worthy to note Flor and Marcinkova don't even have their IMDb head pictures as of now). It's a refreshing change to see none of the big names are claiming the entire show.
Though all the threads neatly come full circle by the end, I wish the filmmaker had added a bolder message or impact to make the film more enjoyable to compensate the lack of true lead characters. There are religious and monogamy related themes that I felt only half explored. The voice-over in the beginning encourages us to take chances in life. 360 could have been a much more compelling story if it had heeded its own advice.
The sisters Anna (Gabriela Marcinkova) and Mirka (Lucia Siposová)
travel from the Bratislava, in Slovakia, to Vienna and the ambitious
Mirka takes nude photos with the photographer and pimp Rocco (Johannes
Krisch) and changes her name to Blanca to work as call girl. On the
next day, she goes to a restaurant to meet the married British
businessman Michael Daly (Jude Law) but he meets with acquaintances and
does not contact Blanca. Soon he is blackmailed by the guy that forces
Michael to close a business with him.
In Paris, a Muslim follows a married woman and then he goes to his psychoanalyst and tells that he is infatuated. Later the woman, named Valentina (Dinara Drukarova) tells to her husband Sergei (Vladimir Vdovichenkov) that she wants to divorce him since she loves her boss.
In London, Rose (Rachel Weisz) ends her love affair with the Brazilian photographer Rui (Juliano Cazarré) but they have sex for the last time. Rui is left by his girlfriend Laura (Maria Flor) that has discovered his affair and she travels back home. Laura meets a man named John (Anthony Hopkins) in the flight and she learns that he is looking for his missing daughter. Rose goes home and her husband Michael arrives from his business trip and they go to see "The Fiddler on the Roof" in their daughter's school.
In Colorado, the sex offender Tyler (Ben Foster) will be released on probation after six years in prison. He meets Laura in the Denver airport and he resists her harassment.
Their lives are entwined and life goes on.
"360" is not a bad movie and would be great if it were an independent production; but considering the director, the cast and the budget, it is but pointless and deceptive despite the fake reviews promoting this film.
Maybe the best subplot is the story of the aspiring prostitute that ends with her dream coming true. The subplots of Michael and Rose; the Muslim guy and Valentina; and the Laura, John and Tyler could have been better developed. My vote is six.
Title (Brazil): "360"
In many ways this is a fabulous movie--complex, warm, chilling, even poignant. It's meant to be an almost serious look at contemporary relationships, including sexual ones with prostitutes, affairs with fellow workers, quickies with someone new, and long term loves between married husband and wife. It works overall, sometimes really well.
Because of its seriousness you might notice a few scenes where things are pushed a little hard. The main one of these is when a Brazilian girl comes on hard to a recently released sex offender in an airport after moments before being put off by him and having plans to meet someone else for a polite drink. At first it's improbable, then the writers decide to push the encounter harder and harder until it becomes extreme and sensationalist. Too bad, because in other parts of the movie the extremes--such as a prostitute getting started through sleazy photographer listing her on the web, even though she has zero experience--get pulled off with conviction. Not that most of us know the ins and outs of that world.
There are too many characters to make things clear here, but it's worth saying that Anthony Hopkins again shows how he can command a scene like no one else in the film. His monologue at an AA meeting is a short masterpiece, and his performance in general is almost enough to justify seeing the film all by itself.
Other characters are excellent, including Jude Law in a restrained part as a married businessman looking for some action on the road. (His wife has her own affair in full swing.) Yeah, come to think of it, there is a lot of infidelity going on here. The one sincere relationship is another unlikely moment, with a sweet girl going off with a somewhat mixed up Russian in a Mercedes (and she leaves her bag on her park bench for no good reason, she's not in a hurry). But hey, all of these things are happening so rapidly and with so much overlap, who knows? It even includes many cases of split screens reaching three or four simultaneous panels at times.
You start to see how the world works for some people in a contemporary way. It's sordid on some level, filled with deceit and sadness. But it's also believable, at least for this certain urban, footloose set. I assume the title means that it all comes around full circle somehow, that we're all in the same big boat. Watch with attention. The characters are all distinctive but there are a lot of them. The director, Fernando Meirelles, is ambitious, for sure, but he made of the most highly regarded films of recent years, "City of God," so this is worth watching even just for that connection. "360" is limited and flawed by comparison, but it's better (I think) than its rating might let on.
"A wise man once said if there's a fork in the road take it." This is a movie that deals with many different characters from different parts of the world from different social classes and how they deal with day to day problems from doing anything to earn money to getting stranded while traveling. The cast in this, which includes: Rachel Weisz, Jude Law, Anthony Hopkins and Ben Foster is great and honestly the cast is the best part of the movie. I used to think that a great cast automatically means that it will be a great movie, but after the last 4 or 5 movies I have seen based off the cast I am beginning to rethink my opinion. The acting is great in this and the story lines basically end up being tied together I guess but the movie is just so slow moving that it makes it really hard to stay interested in. The movie is pretty OK but for me this is another example of a great cast in a sub-par movie. Overall, very slow moving drama that is really only worth seeing because of the cast. I give it a C+.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Interconnected story lines of various people's lives criss-crossing across the globe film in the vein of Babel--doesn't have much to either recommend or even keep you watching once you're a good half hour or so in it. I kind of liked Anthony Hopkins' performance and i kind of thought Ben Foster's storyline was interesting--at least at first since it doesn't really go anywhere after the big reveal of his character---i kind of liked the ending with the big hearted Russian guy and the younger sister of the exploited call girl coming together with their story lines (does that count as a spoiler? i'm honestly not sure because i'm not sure anything that happens in this movie could be called a spoiler since a spoiler would imply that something happens towards the end of the movie that affects the outcome of the story---and that's really not the case with anything that happens in this movie) I wanted to like Jude Law--indeed i thought the first scene with him was setting up a potentially interesting storyline but then he all but disappears throughout the majority of the film only coming back at the tail end to give the illusion of coming full circle. This film doesn't seem to have much of a point unless you count the very vague notion that we're all people living on this planet and we're all worthy of happiness even if we're not entirely sure that we are worthy of it---i suppose that could work as a synopsis for a film but its about as vague as anything else that i managed to take away in the two hours of watching this movie unravel. It is i will admit well shot--and rather pretty to look at for the most part---a lot of the tracking shots are well done and the score is pretty good. I just wish there had been something or some point that could've tied this entire thing into a whole--it was really just an accumulation of scenes that don't quite build on top of each other the way i imagine the writer and director thought they would. In short its kind of a blah movie--and very much a rather large disappointment from the director of City of God, The Constant Gardner, and Blindness.
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