'Panama Papers' Drama
- The Laundromat review by GI
The story of the infamous 'Panama Papers' that revealed a web of dodgy, off shore corporate dealings and tax evasions told in a fictionalised series of stories narrated by the two businessman at the centre of it all, here played with a sort of cabaret cheerfulness by Gary Oldman and Antonio Banderas. The main part of the story concerns Meryl Styreep's Ellen, whose husband is killed when a lake ferry capsizes while they are on holiday. When Ellen seeks to make claim for negligence she finds the insurance is mired in shady companies set up to avoid paying. So she begins her own investigation. The trouble is this is a messy film, it has other stories which help expose the two bad guys but some are short and some are long without any real sense of why. An extended story involving a businessman caught out having an affair by his daughter is given more screen time for no reason I can work out. There's no doubt that director Steven Soderbergh really wants to get this story told but the style and structure of the film makes it a tedious experience. Streep is clearly enjoying herself for reasons I won't spoil and the cast is prestigious including James Cromwell, Jeffrey Wright, Robert Patrick, David Schwimmer and Matthias Schoenaerts amongst others. An attempt to make a film about this scandal on the same lines as The Big Short (2015) but it's not as well told.
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