Meryl Streep on The Laundromat’s “black hearted joke”

Meryl Streep’s latest film, The Laundromat, captivated viewers at the Venice Film Festival with its story being told as a cruel joke “that’s being played on all of us.”

The veteran actress spoke about the film’s premise and why it was decided that the story based on the Panama Papers investigation should be told as a dark comedy. The Panama Papers contain 11.5 million documents from the Mossack Fonseca law firm. Its leaked information unraveled one of the largest global corruption scandals in history. Speaking in a panel at The Laundromat’s Venice Film Festival world premiere last Sunday the actress delved into its details.

“This is an entertaining, flashy, funny way of telling a very, very dark, black-hearted joke, a joke that’s being played on all of us,” Streep said about the Steven Soderbergh-helmed film.

Indeed, Soderbergh took an unlikely but effective humorous approach for the film’s storyline. However, the film’s topic is far from anything that should be taken in a laughing manner.

Back in 2016, journalists received leaked documents from the Panama Papers– aptly named so because of its origin from the aforementioned Panama-based law firm. Mossack Fonesca set up an intrinsic scheme to allow wealthy clients and massive companies dodged billions of dollars worth in tax fees.

In the film, the four-time Oscar-winner takes on the role of a middle-class woman who starts asking questions to find out the reason behind her insurance fraud.

“This movie is fun, it’s funny, but it’s really, really important,” the actress says. Critics of the film praise it for the creative use of humor in a hard-hitting telling of the riveting events that took place when the papers were exposed.

Ben Hornery
Ben Hornery
Ben is is a senior journalist and sport columnist for Best in Australia. He previously worked for the BC and other radio stations.
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