360 is an assortment of intertwining stories about people whose lives connect in unpredictable ways.
From prostitutes in Vienna to British businessmen, via a father looking for his lost daughter in the USA, 360 follows an array of characters around the world back to the very city where it began. Through this elaborate setup, 360 aims to explore the unforeseen effects people have on each others’ lives and how what goes around comes around.
The notion that we can never truly know the consequences of our actions or the interconnecting web of causality that has led to our current circumstances is an intriguing one to explore. However, 360 falls drastically short of its lofty aims as it suffers from being poorly executed across the board.
Firstly, it is incredibly confused as to what type of film it’s aiming to be. While most of the stories are sex driven, it’s not romantic enough to be a romance film, dramatic enough to be a drama, and is about as thrilling as a log flume in a drought. None of the characters receive sufficient screen time to provide an anchor for our interest, and the plot is focused too much on getting to the next person than it is at providing any value in the events themselves. Even the ever-watchable and always brilliant Anthony Hopkins provides little relief.
As each segment gets going, it falls by the wayside and the focus switches to another character that we can’t quite remember if we’ve met already. We are repeatedly offered the beginning of a potentially exciting story before it’s ditched and we are expected to care instantaneously about someone else. The film also lacks an overall unity found in similar films like Magnolia and feels like an assortment of excerpts from different films clumsily tacked together with all the editing skill of a 13 year old on PowerPoint and an awkward soundtrack.
To make a success of a film without a single focused narrative requires skill, and unfortunately City of God director Fernando Meirelles fails to deliver. In a stretch to get the film back to where it started, and justify its title, 360 sacrifices almost everything else.
A film finishing where it started is not clever in itself; it needs to do something else during the intervening two hours; but circularity is, unsurprisingly, the extent of 360’s ambitions, a fact which is glaringly obvious for the duration.