REVIEW – 360 (2011)
Videovista have my review of Fernando Meirelles’ composite film 360.
Much like Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion (2011) and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s 21 Grams (2003), 360 follows a group of extravagantly cast strangers whose lives crisscross in a way which, though seemingly random, reveals something about the alienated connectedness of human lives. In the case of Contagion, the ‘point’ was that illness and fear move from person to person while 21 Grams exlored the extent to which people in different classes and countries are bound together by their involvement in the international drug trade. 360 uses a similar non-linear approach to narrative as a way of showing the extent to which sex ruins the lives of otherwise happy middle-class people:
The film’s paralysing fear of human sexuality is evident in the way that it refuses to distinguish between consensual sex, and sexual activity resulting from physical or psychological coercion. This equivalence is evident in the way that the film opens with a woman being pressured into having sex with a pornographic photographer only to then move on to a woman deciding to continue her affair with a fashion photographer. Clearly, there is something very wrong indeed if Morgan and Meirelles cannot see the difference between a terrified sex-worker who is bullied into sleeping with a website operator, and a middle-class woman deciding to continue an existing affair with a handsome visual artist.
Technically, 360 is a supremely competent iteration of a mature cinematic formula. Well acted, well shot and well made, it is let down only by its over-familiarity and the fact that it considers human sexuality to be a grotesque global conspiracy :-(