Steven Soderbergh’s Laundry is a funny movie about how our brother is being fooled.

Steven Soderbergh’s Laundry is a funny movie about how our brother is being fooled.

The most representative in terms of the number of star actors at the Venice Festival was the premiere of Steven Soderbergh’s Laundry – Meryl Streep and Gary Oldman flew in, and in the film they were accompanied by Antonio Banderas, Sharon Stone, David Schwimmer (Friends) and others. Egor Belikov, editor of the Cinema Art website, is delighted with a new brilliant film from the author of Sex, Lies and Video (released on Netflix on October 18).

On the Venetian island of Lido, right in front of the festival palace, hangs a sponsored MasterCard billboard with a beautiful Cannes laureate director Nadine Labaki asserting something in the spirit of «Cinema is the most effective way to change.» The stars of Steven Soderbergh’s new film Laundry walked along the red carpet towards the palace in full dress, which is dedicated to how the rich, tens of millions of dollar millionaires, bypassing taxes transfer their own money, taking it out of circulation and selling derivatives, into their cards MasterCard, which another ad says will work for anything else that’s not priceless.

Laundry is an adaptation of Medusa’s hypothetical cards about the rich evading taxes. The cards are understandable (fortunately, the mechanisms are not complicated, and how to completely stop money laundering is unclear), the film is even clearer.

An illustrative example. Mossack and Fonseca are Panamanian swindlers who have dug a channel to global customers of offshore companies. They once guessed to register left-wing companies in distant, preferably island countries, it is unclear for anyone and not to ask why they need it, to find the chairmen and, buying the right to sign them for a pittance, hang on them various Vector-M LLC and responsibility for those operations that are committed by unknown beneficiaries.

The swindlers are played by Gary Oldman and Antonio Banderas, these same characters are also in-frame / voice-over narrators in the film, in addition to being the general villains.

There are many such as Mossak and Fonseca, but they are thoroughly caught. There was nothing new in their scheme, but the phenomenon of the Panama Papers, namely, the leaking of the Mossack Fonseca archive into the hands of journalists, was on a scale: the names of hundreds of thousands of malicious programs, including very influential persons, became known, and many were fired. many have quit. It is still unknown who is the noble John Doe who sent the archive. To close the gap, Soderbergh comes up with a witty fake story about how a myriad of financial documents were stolen from Mossack Fonseca.

It will be a pity to tell what the matter is, you can ignore the witty trick associated with, it seems, the only fictional character of the film, played by Meryl Streep, who achieves an indescribable sincerity and uses the chameleon’s abilities for reincarnation for this entire film.

The main space of the film is occupied by “secrets” novellas, comic illustrations for explanatory cards, non-fictional stories from the lives of unremarkable people that explain the various nuances of being unholy. The widow (Streep) is trying to figure out what an insurance company from a distant island paid her compensation for her husband who drowned on a ferry ride. The African billionaire is rolling back for peace in the family after his own betrayals, and shelling out shares of a trust that did not exist, and the beneficiaries are his daughter and wife.

The Eurobusinessman (Matthias Schonarts, whose Putin’s facial expressions here, as in all films with him, illuminate the second bottom in any scene with his participation) blackmails the Chinese party members on the subject of money laundering.

The script from the acclaimed book by Jack Bernstein, which was not published in Russia anyway, was adapted by Scott Z. Burns, who thoroughly prepared the Jesuitical genre of medical drama («Contagion») and thriller («Side Effect») for Soderbergh, and all the more interesting is the observation that from an even more insensitive texture – news – he turned into a vaudeville comedy, not a scrupulous drama. On the other hand, «Laundry», even in comparison with the really simple «Game of the Thing», an Oscar pool film on about the same themes and in the same vein, which was shot by a professional comedian Adam McKay, turns out to be a purely head film – not about people , but first of all about money. The seasoned cynic Soderbergh, who knows how to masterfully transform emotions and obsessions into films of the most unexpected genres in other cases (for example, he turned left-liberal phobias about Trump into an iPhone horror «Not in Myself», from which at the Berlin Festival the entire audience twitched with fear) , when confronted with the news texture, it can only tap it with heels.

This is not bad at all, and Laundry may well become Soderbergh’s most popular film, in the sense in which Navalny’s video blog is popular. In the finale, where all the masks are removed and the spotlights are turned off, it becomes clear that Soderbergh is not talking exactly about the economy, but rather about the political overtones, the collapse of American ideals and other decadence. In terms of thundering civic pathos, this is somewhere a typical column in Novaya Gazeta about blue whales or Putin’s fifth term (and such pathos cannot be avoided in a conversation about such a film), but at the same time, everything is insanely fascinating, intricately invented and no one get confused.

Such a film, especially with stars, all the more funny, is the most suitable option for Netflix, which likes to order documentaries on the topic of the day (see Explained, Dirty Money, American Factory, The Great Hack) for a viewer hungry for simple, well-visualized knowledge. The situation is, of course, ambiguous: the owner of the Palme d’Or has been making a film about the power of capital for a major entertainment corporation over the past decade. According to the great slogan of the Washington Post, democracy is dying in darkness.

Let’s add: before our very eyes, democracy is being reborn into something new – enterocracy, where the changes that Nadine Labaki so hopes in advertising are, of course, still possible, but basically only the showcase of the online cinema Netflix is ​​changing.

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