November 29, 2012 -- “360” is one of those movies with a plot that is intricately constructed of a bunch of seemingly unrelated parts that end up fitting together improbably, but very nicely at the end.
The story has a variety of characters who touch each other's lives in unexpected ways. Anna (Gabriela Marcinkova) goes with her sister, Mirka (Lucia Siposova) to a nude photo shoot in Vienna. Anna does not approve, but Mirka agrees to join a prostitution ring that the photographer works for. Her first assignment is to meet a client named Michael Daly (Jude Law of “Sherlock Holmes”) in Vienna the next day.
Michael intends to keep the date, but unexpectedly some business partners show up at the bar where he is to meet Mirka, and he decides to abandon her without making contact. Mirka, however picks up a new client, one of the same businessmen at the bar who wanted to make a deal with Michael. Mirka drops Michael's name and the businessman uses the information to blackmail Michael. Meanwhile, Michael's wife, Rose (Rachel Weisz of “The Lovely Bones”) back in London, is having an affair with a photographer, Rui (Juliano Cazarré). She decides to end the affair. Meanwhile Rui's girlfriend, Laura (Maria Flor) has discovered that Rui is cheating on her. She leaves him and flies off home to Brazil.
Meanwhile, in Paris, An Algerian man (Jamel Debbouze) is in love with a married woman, but shyness and religious conviction (he is a Muslim) prevent him from doing anything about it. The married woman, Valentina (Dinara Drukarova) plans to leave her husband, Sergei (Vladimir Vdovichenkov) who is deeply involved in a dangerous criminal organization.
Back in Vienna, Sergei arranges for Mirka to service his vile boss (Mark Ivanir), but when Mirka finds out that the man has a huge amount of cash in his suitcase, she calls her pimp so he can rob the man. Sergei takes this opportunity to ditch his boss. At the same time, he befriends Mirka's sister, Anna, who improbably decides to take a leap of faith.
Meanwhile, in Colorado, Laura is stuck in a snowstorm at an airport with a fellow passenger, John (Anthony Hopkins of “Thor”) and a man she meets at the airport, Tyler (Ben Foster of “Pandorum”) a violent sex offender. Laura makes a very dangerous leap of faith, which inspires to John to move on with his life.
The plot of this movie is like one of those elaborate domino games where you set up dominoes in lines so they knock each other over. The lines can be arranged to follow different paths and create interesting patterns. All these lives in these different countries and different cities all affect each other in odd ways. The film makes the argument that it is better to take a leap of faith than it is to play it safe, or perhaps it is just as painful, though not as dangerous, to play it safe.
This is a big, talented cast. The acting is strong and the production values are high. This is a big, slick, complicated film that works pretty well. It rates a B.
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