By Marc S. Sanders
Steven Soderbergh gets a little too inventive in his delivery of revealing “The Panama Papers,” in his new film The Laundromat now showing on Netflix.
His film is too convoluted deliberately to drive home the point of shell company, laundered fraud within the world. As such, it makes it very challenging to comprehend every point crammed into his short 90 minute film.
The two Panamanian attorneys behind the scheme, Mossack & Fonseca (played with great duet chemistry from Gary Oldman and Antonio Banderas) narrate the film by introducing different ways in which a shell company valued at everything on paper but tangibly nothing from an actual monetary standpoint.
Primarily, it focuses on Ellen Martin (Meryl Streep) a driven senior citizen who learns the truth of the plot when insurance does not compensate following the tragic accidental drowning of her husband on a boat tour.
Streep is brilliant as always. Such a natural with her monologues and her seemingly useless efforts to gain restitution for her loss.
The whole cast is excellent but the intentional confusion behind the story falls short of satisfying entertainment or enlightenment. I needed some moments where Soderbergh would give it to me straight. A diagram or a graph might have helped.
With The Laundromat Steven Soderbergh fails at becoming the next Jay Roach (The Big Short and Vice). Imagine if Roach actually got his hands on this script. Then there’d be a lot more buzz about this film. Oh well.