‘The Laundromat’ Review: Dir. Steven Soderbergh (2019) [Venezia]

Joining the likes of The Post and Spotlight in recounting a journalistic investigation, Steven Soderbergh’s The Laundromat tells the story of the Panama Papers – the second of Netflix’s films premiering at this year’s Venice Film Festival.

Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation from 2016, where a whole slew of documents leaked linking politicians, celebrities, drug dealers, and the wealthy to offshore finance companies that aided them in dodging tax, the film examines the role of Mossack Fonseca – the Panama-based law firm the case was built around – played such a large role in the operation. With Mossenka (Gary Oldman) and Fonseca (Antonio Banderas) essentially narrating, filling the audience in on terminology and the like, vignettes fill the gaps in giving us a better look at what went down.

I’m wary in using the word story; The Laundromat’s biggest flaw is perhaps that it lacks a narrative. It
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