Like the name suggest “360,” the new film from “City of God” and “The Constant Gardener” director Fernando Meirelles, is a well rounded look at its subject. The film tells a complicated story that mixes-and-matches the lives of globe-trotting characters from all over the world into one intertwined narrative.
Familiar faces like Rachel Weisz, Jude Law, Ben Foster and Anthony Hopkins headline the cast, which also includes international stars Jamel Debbouze and Moritz Bleibtreu working from a script by “The Queen” scribe Peter Morgan. Based on themes of love, life, loss of life and infidelity, the story casts a wide net to include the story of a young Slovakian woman who looks to prostitution as a way of escaping poverty, an older man searching for his missing daughter and a Muslin man struggling with feelings of love for a married co-worker.
As well acted and compelling much of “360” is I couldn’t help but feel a better movie could have been made if fewer stories were essayed. Like so many of these attempts at multi-pronged storytelling what could have been a rich experience becomes muddled by the sheer volume of stories and characters. Instead, how about choosing any one of the story threads and fully exploring the characters and situations, sewing up loose ends and not worrying too much about weaving together all the disparate story elements?
“360” isn’t a bad movie, far from it, Meirelles is too skilled a director for that, but he’s also ambitious. This time it feels as though his storytelling ambitions got the best of him as he tries to bring too many stories to the table.