An excerpt from my script review for The Laundromat which will be available 10/1/19:
2.) Plot Stability
Okay, the Big Short-esque plot…
Logline: A widow investigates an insurance fraud, chasing leads to a pair of Panama City law partners exploiting the world’s financial system.
There’s not much of Meryl Streep aside from the opening pages.
Once the “director” of the insurance company that owes her money is arrested, we don’t really see her again.
“Chasing leads to a pair of lawyers”? Nope…she doesn’t make it to Mossack or Fonseca as far as the script goes.
Aside from that misleading narrative, I wanted to talk about what The Big Short did right, and where this project gets it wrong.
Remember in my review of The Big Short, I was impressed how they used clever analogies with celebrities to explain complex and/or boring financial concepts.
Beyonce playing blackjack. Was one.
Here, instead of giving us quick short examples the script becomes almost an anthology presenting how MossFon (or whatever the company was called) screwed people over by the bad people they represented.
Was it sad, sure, but it didn’t feel like the best way to present the situation, instead opting for an almost Buster Scruggs collection of stories.
It would have been better to mingle all these individual storylines and tie all the information together in the end, where I will mention the outlook is more satisfying than what happened in The Big Short.
The other major issue I had was just how Mossack and Fonseca made their money.
They set up and monitored these shell companies for clients, but they only seemed to charge like $200-600 a pop. Even at thousands of clients, that’s not anything ridiculous, even if they’re not paying taxes themselves. It would have been nice to have that fact clarified over some of the other smaller plot points on just how they became wealthy.
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