Our film follows Ellen (Meryl Streep) who has begun her investigation into an insurance company. Her search was started by accident involving herself, her husband and a tourist boat, leading to the death of her husband and the drowning of many people.
While Ellen’s character is the main focus of the film, The Laundromat shares multiple stories with different viewpoints, all pointing out issues relating to the finance company Ellen is investigating. Each story shows the company’s major corruption and those who get away with it daily.
While watching the film, it’s very evident that the director (Steven Soderbergh) is passionate about this topic, and he wanted to get things off his chest. By the end of the film, you will find out he isn’t the only one. During the film, we are also somewhat educated by some Financial Partners played by Gary Oldman and Antonio Banderas, who continually break “the fourth wall” and speak to the audience. The information that is shared could be insightful for some and boring for others.
The Laundromat for me is a huge disappointment which is a shame because I feel the message driving the film is essential for many to hear.
Instead of following one story, we have many. Sometimes the story of these characters didn’t justify their purpose for being in the film. Another annoying factor is many named actors are given less than 5 mins of screen time, including David Schwimmer, Jeffery Wright, Robert Patrick, Sharon Stone & Will Forte. I feel that the list of big actors were used as a “drawcard” to get more viewers into watching this film.
Needless to say, whenever Meryl Streep is off-screen, the film is weaker. Not just because of her acting ability (although she is an amazing woman), but because her character is the only character I felt it was worth investing in.
The cinematography is also disappointing and patchy. Sure cuts in key scenes are rather odd and don’t seem fitting for this type of story. By the time the film ended, I couldn’t help but think that maybe the film had many cuts and edits while in post-production? Because of these cuts and the way it tells each story, it cheapens the film and also makes the main story hollow and dull. There is also a “twist” element in the movie, which I found far too predictable and ridiculous.
Overall, considering this is based on a true story, and there is a strong message to share with the world, it’s disappointing to me that this wasn’t done better. Actress Meryl Streep gives a solid performance, but the film’s style, dull storytelling and odd cinematography, as well as editing, makes the film overall patchy and dull. Some financial talk may also only attract a small number of audiences.
Thank you for visiting! Walkden Entertainment is also available on:
Review Written by Peter Walkden