#REVIEW: “THE LAUNDROMAT”
Review by Justin Waldman for Mr. Will Wong
Steven Soderbergh and Scott Z. Burns team-up again to deliver an important movie about the Panama Papers, and what they exactly are for people who do not follow the news as closely as the rest of the world. It’s a cat-and-mouse story followed by an excellent Cast as well as fourth wall-breaking throughout, with a final impactful blow.
The Laundromat follows a widow, Ellen (Meryl Streep) as she tries to get to the bottom of an insurance fraud issue after her husband’s death. What she doesn’t realize at the time is that she uncovers a giant fraud scheme helmed by two Panama City Law partners, Jurgen Mossack and Ramon Fonseca (Gary Oldman and Antonio Banderas respectively) and starts collecting the pieces and uncovering partially the corporate world of greed that led to the Panama Papers. The Film constantly switches back and forth between Mossak and Fonseca breaking the fourth wall, explaining to audiences what they’re doing and how they’re doing it and Ellen’s story amongst a handful of others. The way this plays out brings to light the people who are truly in power, what they will do to keep said power and how it affects the people who are not part of the world’s 1%.
What truly solidifies The Laundromat as a crucial viewing, for people who don’t know about the Panama papers is the performances from Streep, Oldman, and Banderas as their performances truly are the saving grace of the Film. It’s a film about political corruption and corporate greed, it was never going to be an exhilarating Thriller, but their performances truly make it something special. Streep who plays double duty as Ellen and one of the Panama City desk jocks for Mossack and Fonesca, delivers another phenomenal performance, while Oldman and Banderas truly are captivating and makes us realize how truly awful everything was that occurred. It accomplishes its message to help people be more aware and vigilant when it comes to important life-altering businesses, such as insurance. As well the final moments with Streep are powerful and raw that it will stay with you and resonate with the audience long after the Movie is over. The Film explains the issue in a clear manner which people of various understandings on the matter will get.
The Laundromat is perfectly adequate and excels from a fantastic leading cast that is the saving grace as the audience will be captivated by their performances and delivery. Soderbergh strikes his signature style and tone that we have come to expect from him throughout the Film and makes full acknowledgement that the system is broken, and even pokes some fun, if not true, at himself at one moment in the Film. Corporate greed is a problem, more so before the Panama Papers got exposed but it still exists.
Netflix releases THE LAUNDROMAT in theatres on Friday, October 4, 2019 and it streams Friday, October, 18, 2019 worldwide.