Review this movie
Nov 18, 2012Like the film Eyes Wide Shut, which was based on Arthur Schnitzler's Traumnovelle, 360 is another weird adaptation of an Arthur Schnitzler work. Schnitzler's play, La Ronde (also known as Reigen in German) is set in 1890's Vienna and focuses on the bizarre hypocrisy necessary to maintain the proper veneer required by polite society in regard to the rules of marriage, fidelity, and sexual propriety. Schnitzler's work comprises a full circle, like the children's ring-around-the-rosie dance for which the play is named. In the original play, a prostitute has sex with a soldier; the soldier has sex with a maid, the maid with a young gentleman, the gentleman with a young wife, and then the young wife with her husband. The liaisons are empty and devoid of any commitment or romantic attachment, except for the husband who tries to explain to his wife how going through periods of "friendship" keeps the relationship fresh so that they keep revisiting the honeymoon stage. Then the husband takes up with a young girl, the girl with a poet, the poet with an actress, the actress with a count , and the count comes full circle and has sex with the prostitute. The pairings are absurd, they cross class boundaries and are strictly based on animalistic sexual needs, which somehow justify lies and hypocrisy. La Ronde makes a perfect circle; 360, set in modern times in Vienna, Bratislava, and Denver should make a perfect circle mathematically speaking, but in this film it's more like a rectangle missing one side. The top of the hierarchy is the husband and wife played by Rachel Weisz and Jude Law, two famous British actors who barely make their presence felt in this film. Each one of them starts a chain of sexual deceit--the husband (Jude Law) almost hires a prostitute but bolts at the last minute, the prostitute mates with a Russian mafia-style boss, her sister falls in love with the boss's driver, whose wife is enjoying a flirtation with her boss, a dentist. The wife and the dentist never get together and the chain ends with them. Back at the top of the hierarchy, the wife, played by Rachel Weisz, is having an affair with a Brazilian photographer, whose girlfriend finds out and leaves him to go back to Brazil. En route, she befriends a grieving father of a missing child (Anthony Hopkins) and nearly goes to bed with a rehabilitated sex convict, just out of jail and a little shaky about his self-control. Nothing happens and the chain ends there. The stories are disconnected and rambling. The high point is Hopkins pouring his heart out at an AA meeting, effective but entirely out of place. 360 claims to be based on La Ronde, but the connection is so vague that I don't think they should reference Schnitzler's work--there's no resemblance whatsoever. This modern version is completely lacking in the absurdity, spontaneity, and the revolutionary zeal needed to thoroughly rebel against society's expectations. There is a hint of a philosophical theme in the form of the Kierkegaardian crowd as seen at bus terminals and airports in the film, perhaps denoting that the sexual defiance is a desperate attempt to be an individual and avoid the conformity and anonymity that the crowd imposes. The acting is so-so all around (save Hopkins), but the cinematography is impressive and creates an artsy, European ambience.… Expand
Nov 10, 2012Oh boy, what is more fun than a choppy vignette movie, filmed in multiple languages, and on two continents? I like cinema because it allows me to escape from everyday life. I am not interested in trying to decipher a multi-lingual chess match poorly played.
Aug 13, 2014Movies linking different stories taking place all over the world are usually are praised for the interweaving plot coming together with some big revelation. Think about Babel, universally praised for mixing intercontinental tragedy. I liked it moderately, as it was a bit too gloomy, and I would not put it in my top-ten list.
On the other hand, 360 working on a similar take, was vilified almost unanimously. On a different merry-go-round we have the stories of an English businessman ready to stray with a prostitute in Bratislava, while his wife is already straying in London with a Brazilian guy, whose fiancée is dumping him for said infidelity and travelling back home, etc…
Since the prostitute is having her photos taken by a photographer for her online advert, the movie starts and finishes with a girl entering the study, thus coming round 360 degrees. A couple of stories are quite weak, such as the Brazilian girl meeting a sex offender en route to Brazil and the prostitute's sister running away with a stranger. However, compared to Babel what is missing here is mega tragedy and that is exactly what made Babel so pretentious, with its existentialist grandeur.
Therefore, I liked it better because in 360 characters' lives are more "normal" – except, perhaps, the Russian mobsters – and their lives are not experiencing huge calamities. They just change or adjust slightly. I guess that was not liked by the critics (and public). Nowadays, a level of extra-drama seems to be required in ever massive doses to relieve with excitement our numbed existences … at least for a couple of hours.… Expand
Oct 16, 2013Some movies with seemingly connecting stories about central themes may succeed, like Pulp Fiction, but 360 doesn't seem to live up to that completely. The whole movie is like a dozen or so separate stories intertwined into one motion picture, so I can't judge the whole movie as a whole. Instead, I will go through each one:
My favorite storyline in this movie was the one with Sergei and the woman he rides with in his car. I really felt for him as his abusive boss sleeps with hookers, bosses him around, and gives him no respect, because all Sergei could really do was watch and act polite so that he won't get fired. The woman in his car symbolizes his escape from all this, the start to a new life, in which Sergei can be happy. She makes him smile and both seem to like each other. Once Sergei drove off with her, all was right with the world and I couldn't help but smile.
The storyline with the Algerian man (Jamel Debbouze) and the woman he loved was intriguing but never fully captured my attention. When he decided to solve the problem of his urgings, I was both sad and mad with how he handled it, and wished it could've ended differently. But, that's the way life works.
Jude Law and Rachel Weisz's storyline seemed pointless to elaborate on. It connected with the other storylines, and was a crucial link to pull the stories together, but it wasn't interesting at all.
The storyline with the sex offender and Lara had a good ending and a lesson learned, but it was kind of stupid. Would a woman be *that* naïve to let a man into her hotel room without any knowing who he was? A hookup at a bar is one thing, but hooking up with a random man at the airport who acts suspicious and is unwilling to go to any hotel room is plain stupid and foolish. To add to that, he is a recently released sex offender! While she obviously didn't know he was a sex offender, she didn't know who the man was to begin with, and that plot point was desperate and unrealistic.
Anthony Hopkins' quest to find his daughter was very well done, and I loved this storyline. His interactions with Lara were realistic and excellently written.
The story of the two hookers at the beginning was unsettling and unsatisfying. It was realistic, but the depth on which the movie pursued them was unnecessary.
There were many other stories that happened, but the ones I mentioned were my favorites, and the others I didn't mention seemed like filler.
Overall, the script in this movie was wonderful, but some of the stories were weak and some were excellent, so some stuck out while others didn't. One big thing about this movie is how realistic it was. Nothing in it seemed to good to be true, except maybe the story with Lara. This movie was basically about human interaction and the consequences following it. It showed how everything in life is connected somehow. In fact, the whole movie seemed to be about people meeting and interacting with each other as they are sad in their own lives because of a cheating husband, abusive boss, etc. That is the main theme, and it is presented well and repetitively.… Expand
Aug 16, 2012If nothing else, the movie reminds filmgoers just how difficult it can be to pull off the multi-thread approach. Sometimes it's possible to take a spool of yarn and, with care and consistency, knit a stunning creation. 360 looks more like what happens when a cat gets ahold of the ball.