The Laundromat (2019)

DailyView: Day 253, Movie 354

A 2019 biographical black comedy/drama based around the Panama Papers scandal and based on the book Secrecy World is the next DailyView. This is directed by Steven Soderbergh and had a huge cast telling three stories mixed together with the characters of Jürgen Mossack and Ramón Fonseca.

Jürgen Mossack (Gary Oldman) and Ramón Fonseca (Antonio Banderas) are the narrators of this film, weaving through the three stories.

The cast of the film included Gary Oldman, Antonio Banderas, Meryl Streep, Sharon Stone, David Schwimmer, Jeffrey Wright, Will Forte, Chris Parnell, Matthias Schoenaerts, James Cromwell, Melissa Rauch, Rosalind Chao, Robert Patrick, Larry Wilmore, and Jesse Wang. There is a huge cast of talented actors, but, to be honest, they are not used that effectively.

The film had a definite “The Big Short” feel to it. With Oldman and Banderas, in character, speaking to the camera, explaining complex ideas of taxes and ways to manipulate them, trying to make it more understandable. It succeeds some, and does have some moments of humor, but it is nowhere near as effective as The Big Short.

The end of the film does become preachy. I was all for the message being given here, but I do not think that this is the best manner in which to present it.

I loved the work of Antonio Banderas, especially, and also Gary Oldman. They were great in their fourth wall breaking narration. There were some wonderfully funny and effective moments in the film, but it did not all fit together well.

There were parts here that I enjoyed and other parts that felt like a slog. The Laundromat could have been spectacular, but it settles for being just okay. If you want to check it out yourself, it is on Netflix.

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