The Laundromat Review - A light take on the scandal that shook the world

The Laundromat Review - A light take on the scandal that shook the world

The Panama papers scandal had shaken the entire world. The names involved in the money-laundering and holding offshore accounts, black money...to name a few, involved some of the who's who of the celebrity world. But nevertheless, pretty soon the scandal died down as the media stopped reporting it. But did it really die down? “The Laundromat” recounts dramatized events about the Panama Papers, a 2015 data leak that connected hundreds of public figures and elites from 200 countries to an obscure Panamanian law firm, Mossack Fonseca. Steven Soderbergh, the director chooses to explain the international political scandal from his own perspective. The story is narrated by Jürgen Mossack and Ramón Fonseca (played by Gary Oldman and Antonio Banderas), who guide us to the complicated regulatory and economic matters that enabled massively wealthy individuals to evade taxes by hiding their money in offshore accounts. The Laundromat aims to throw light on loopholes in various countries’ tax codes that are being exploited by the rich and elite and how they affected ordinary people — like a woman named Ellen (Meryl Streep) who loses her husband in a tour boat accident. Ellen's insurance settlement from her husband's death leads her down a rabbit hole of tax schemes and fake companies. The film's other stellar cast includes Streep, Oldman, Banderas, James Cromwell, Sharon Stone, David Schwimmer, Matthias Schoenaerts, Will Forte, Chris Parnell, Jeffrey Wright, Rosalind Chao, Nonso Anozie, and many more. Clearly, the film belongs to Streep. She remains a star, captivating as she argues with a real estate agent in an empty Las Vegas condo or sprays an office with buckshot in a lopsided fantasy sequence. True at some junctures in the film, you might get befuddled, but the film is thoroughly entertaining even though it chooses to explain completely boring and insipid concepts of tax-evasion. I had to google terms like capital gains to get a better understanding of the concept shown in the film, but nevertheless, The Laundromat is an entertaining watch. Soderbergh tries to maintain a balance between the light and heavy themes of the film.

Rating: 4/5


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