Director: Fernando Meirelles
Screenplay: Peter Morgan
Starring: Lucia Siposová, Gabriela Marcinkova, Ben Foster, Jude Law, Rachel Weisz, Anthony Hopkins
Producers: Graham Bradstreet, Chris Contogouris, Andrew Eaton
Running time: 115 minutes
I once read that when it comes to the number of locations you should have in a film it’s best to keep the number as low as possible. 360 director Fernando Meirelles clearly doesn’t agree with this as the plot in 360 does almost as many miles as George Clooney in Up In The Air.
360 is the story, or stories of lots of people played by, in no particular order, Jude Law, Rachel Weisz, Anthony Hopkins and several other excellent actors I’m ashamed to say I’ve never heard of.
The reason for the the multiple locations and characters is because 360 is a connected story where the various protagonists’ lives overlap in interesting ways.
As you would imagine with the three big names cast in the film, their faces adorn the promotional material for the film, yet it is some time before they appear on screen. In fact the film has an opening that won’t appeal to everyone as there is nudity within seconds. You could say that it is gratuitous, but it does serve a purpose in establishing one of the main characters in the film.
The character is a woman who we know as Mirka and Blanka (Lucia Siposová). The reason for her nudity is that she is having some publicity photos for her new job, if you can call it that. You also get to meet her sister Anna (Gabriela Marcinkova).
These two play a central role, along with a Russian couple who live in Paris, Mirka’s new boss, a Parisian Dentist, a Brazilian couple and then the characters played by Jude Law, Rachel Weisz and Anthony Hopkins.
This may sound like a very confusing mixture, but it actually works really well. Each story line has its own arc and the way that they all connect together is clever and believable without being schmaltzy and improbable.
The dialogue flows really well and each of the characters is so believable that you really begin to feel for them and worry for what they are doing. Anthony Hopkins' is perhaps the stand-out character, but then he does have so much to go with, with the character he plays. Other great performances include Ben Foster as Tyler, a man who is trying to cope with not only his inner demons but also the actions of one of the other characters. The scene involving Tyler and the Brazilian Laura has to be one of the most tense I’ve seen in a long time.
Perhaps the most surprising thing about 360 is that this was the first I had heard about it given the cast list. That said I can see why it wasn’t a big hit. It won’t be everyone’s cup of tea with the way that the story moves around and the multiple characters, plus it doesn’t have one central theme to draw people in. 360 is a story about stories, which clearly won’t be for everyone. If you like a bit more depth to your films though then it is certainly worth seeing.
Review by Henry Tucker