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TIFF 2019 Film Review: “The Laundromat” (2019) ★★★★★


© 2019 – Netflix

Corruption has become a part of our culture. It happens here and there wherever we are right now. It can be at school, universities, hospitals, through taxes, or even at the governmental level. Nobody talks about it until some Jane or John Doe leak information to the public. What happened with the Panama Papers was fascinating but not surprising at all. Money laundering has been around forever and will exist even after we are gone. However, things like this must be talked about no matter from what angle we look at it. This is why Steven Soderbergh’s “The Laundromat” is one of the most wickedly funny and intelligent pieces where, this time around, those who created shell companies tell their own side of the story, which totally makes sense.

“The Laundromat” offers a look into the anatomy of money through the introduction of two men who are directly involved in money laundering – Jurgen Mossack (Gary Oldman) and Ramon Fonseca (Antonio Banderas). Through the revelation of secrets, we meet Ellen Martin (Meryl Streep), who during an unfortunate accident loses her dear husband. When the time comes for an insurance company to pay money to the victims, funds were nowhere to be fund. If that was not enough, she loses her condo to Russians who had enough money to pay with cash for the apartment she planned to live in. Hence, she begins her investigation that will lead to the findings known as Panama Papers.

Overall, the entire film is absolutely fun to watch despite its heavy concept. Soderbergh opens up the concept of money as a clever surgeon to show us its corrupt insides. The corruption that started in the United States and spread all over the world like cancer. Excellent cinematography, editing, and the performance of the entire cast, especially Meryl Streep, is something any movie lover must see. The church scene is one of the rare monologue scenes we see on the silver screen where so much is told with no words used at all. That scene alone deserves all the awards in the world because what Meryl Streep does is unreal and out of this planet.

In the end, there is a lot to grasp in “The Laundromat” as the information which flows towards us is a lot to process. But the film itself takes an interesting approach to explore corruption, the existence of shell companies, and how they function. It’s an utterly intelligent film with lots of humor to make your preview much easier. So waste no time and give it a shot to experience something which has never even been offered to you before. Because it’s new, challenging, and an important concept we shall not miss at any point in time.

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