360 (director: Fernando Meirelles; screenwriters: Peter Morgan/from the play Reigen by Arthur Schnitzler; cinematographer: Adriano Goldman ; editor: Daniel Rezende; music: ; cast:
“Fizzles out with a terrible pat ending.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Noted Brazilian filmmaker Fernando Meirelles (“Blindness”/”City of God”/”The Constant Gardner”)and respected screenwriter Peter Morgan (“The Queen“) base the thriller onthe Austrian Arthur Schnitzler’s 1897 play Der Reigen, that was set in Vienna.It was first filmed by Max Ophuls in 1950 as La Ronde. The title “360” is derived from the circular story line, one that signals that everything in life goes full circle. Despite all the talent gathered, including the acclaimed director and writer and a well-known international cast, the film fizzles out with a terrible pat ending. It serves dollops of sleaze and tidbits of amorality in its uneven Altman-like sprawling storytelling of interconnected subplots of characters grasping for a better life. Its half-baked narrative and slender episodes are never engaging or emotionally fulfilling, nor do the bevy of facile characters leave us with a lasting impression during their too brief appearances.
It begins in Vienna, where ambitious Slovakian hooker Blanka (Lucia Siposova) is living with her trusted English speaking sister Anna (Gabriela Marcinkova) and has just been hired by slimy photographer/pimp Rocco (
In Paris, the subplots concern a devout Muslim dentist from Algeria (Jamel Debbouze) and his secret crush on his married Russian dental assistant, Valentina (Dinara Drukarova). She’s secretly in love with her boss and is unhappily married to her inattentive Russian chauffeur/bodyguard, Sergei (Vladimir Vdovichenkov), employed by the piggish Russian mob boss (Mark Ivanir), who takes pleasure in treating him like a dog. When Valentina requests a divorce, an incident in a Paris hotel between her hubby’s mob boss and the hooker Blanka impacts greatly the lives of both East European families.
The setup was fine for a B film, but the storytelling was inert.There was only one scene that seemed to work with grace, that has Hopkins at an AA meeting offering a from the heart confessional.
REVIEWED ON 12/15/2012 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ