The Laundromat movie is a semantic movie piece about Panama money laundering and whether it's fiction, or nonfiction, a biographical comedy drama, or a documentary genre of movie!
“The cinema is our mirror through which we look into real lifetime amusements, circumstances, dramas, events and historical documentaries taken into moving pictures.” Khalid Osman
The Laundromat is an American movie produced on 2019 in the lights of the Panama papers scandal in 2016. So, from this point, the movie belongs to the category of the real lifetime movies and it features a story that part of it is fictional and the other part is non-fictional.
Well, in this category of lifetime movies there are so many sub-categories. As for fiction and non-fiction, if it was all real stories alone from such corrupted environment, it would be belonging to the documentary genre of movies.
It’s of course that the last part of the movie definition, which is the fiction, depends on the artistic imagination of three movie professionals: the narrator, the scenarist and the producer. See film narrative form at https://www.tvcinemaapp.com/film-narrative-form.html
I have discussed this specific point of view, as one of the production elements, as long as I remember, back ago during the early eighties, when I interviewed the leading roles actors, the Soviet first female cinema star Vera Alentova, with Aleksey Batakov and the Soviet movie director Vladimir Menshov.
So, back to The Laundromat, the movie isn’t a biographical comedy-drama, as categorized in many movie platforms online by genre. It’s a real life drama movie with remarks that align it to the crimes genre of movies.
There’s no any sense of comedy in it exclusively, despite the presence of Ross (David Schwimmer) from Friends in the role of Matthew Quirk.
There are not much of flashbacks, sounds and visual effects that hurt the audience’s eyesights and ears, except that romantic gestures of Ellen Martin (Meryl Streep), which she had made to her grandchildren about her lovely moments with their granddad.
From the way the movie starts by narration of Jurgen Mossack (Gary Oldman) and Ramon Fonseca (Antonio Banderas) introducing themselves and highlighting how money laundering goes, the audience could anticipate the direction of the movie.
This anticipation develops when the two characters continue the movie narration of three stories of people wha are affected by money laundering that their company has involved in, before the leak of the scandal to the press.
Ellen Martin (Meryl Streep) was at the top of the list of affected people and this in fact is the dominating part of the three stories. That’s of course, due to the presence of Meryl Streep, as a prominent cinema star, with great records of high quality movies and many movie rewards. Nevertheless,
Meryl Streep wasn’t as perfect in this movie as used to be in movies like “Mamma Mia”, “It’s Complicated”, “Doubt”, “Kramer vs. Kramer” and one of which she played the role of a journalist with flowers planter, I don’t remember what title it has right now.
The leaked information by the Panama Papers about the role of the Panamanian law Mossack Fonseca in the global tax evasion has caused the law firm to shut down.
The movie tries to release and confuse the audience about the issue leaked by a whistleblower (we call it a little bird, by a journalism’s description), using a pseudonym, as John Doe.
He demanded to have a legal protection to help the prosecutors build the cases, after publishing his statements that read as “The Revolution Will Be Digitalized”.
It appears that Steven Soderbergh (the film director) has depicted the scandal by an odd decision to perplex the local people, so no one can make sure of the scandal.
The economical corruption was gathered from 11.5 million papers about the multimillion dollar offshore business of the company including bribes, drugs, laundering and other financial and tax corruption to the newspaper “Suddeutsche Zeitung”.
The involved companies were over 210,000 companies in the period from 1970 to 2015. According to facts and figures such scandal can’t be a subject to work some confusion about.
In a mindset that’s aware of film technical issues, that creates a sort of documentary in such movie. Even the movie techniques used are pointing at this genre. See documentary film at https://www.tvcinemaapp.com/documentary-film.html
* Ellen Martin (Meryl Streep)
She became a widow, when her loving husband died in a tour boat. Reviewers consider this role secondary, which is not. As one of affected people by the company, although she worked in it, she made a twist in the movie.
Her appearance as a Latina with the makeup and the Latin accents make that role “exaggerating, if non-specific”, according to the “Independent”. However, other movie reviewers think that her twist in “The Laundromat” is the most perfect of her extra movie moments.
To me, not only the role of this great actress, and the other actors, but the movie above all has a different plot twist in the complexity of the movie elements it has.
Understanding plots is so essential to define what all the movie is about (when we are speaking about the movie theme) and above all how that “above all” is managed cinematically.
That’s to say how moving the camera is the way of improving the movie production.
However, the other movie reviewers who think that her twist in “The Laundromat” is the most of her extra movie moments, have justified that because she has played three different roles in the movie.
She played a secretary in the company, beside the role of Ellen Martin, the Michigan affected widow, to pursue the company, then as Panamanian administrative officer and the role at the end of the movie, when she disclosed her true identity. See movie production at https://www.tvcinemaapp.com/movie-production.html
* The narrators Jurgen Mossack and Ramon Fonseca
The narration presented by Jurgen Mossack (Gary Oldman) and Ramon Fonseca (Antonio Banderas) on three occasions where three people were affected by the money laundering is a sort of deception.
The narrating act took the movie away of the genre decided by then by the cinema critics. I see no narrators are essentially required to be part of a fiction turned into a movie.
But, it is becoming a habit of the new cinema, when films are just decided upon to be produced from outlines of the news, or from gossips, or from backwards of thoughts to make easy money.
In this case of the events of money laundering the theme is a ticket winner. The narrators knew that and therefore they were justifying the depiction. But, at the other end of the audience, they might get bored. See the film form at https://www.tvcinemaapp.com/film-form.html
Film genre: American biographical comedy-drama.
Director: Steven Soderbergh.
Executive producer: Jake Bernstein.
Producers: Scott Z. Burns, Laurence Grey, Gregory Jacobs, Steven Soderbergh, Michael Sugar.
Starring: Antonio Banderas, David Schwimmer, Gary Oldman, James Cromwell, Jeffery Wright, Matthias Schoenaerts, Meryl Streep, Sharon Stone.
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