‘The Post’ Review

ThePost-largeThe Post is a historical drama directed and produced by Steven Spielberg and written by Liz Hannah and Josh Singer. The film stars Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks, with Sarah Paulson, Bob Odenkirk, Tracy Letts, Bradley Whitford, Bruce Greenwood, Carrie Coon, and Matthew Rhys in supporting roles. Set in the early 1970s, The Post depicts the true story of The Washington Post journalists and their attempts to publish the Pentagon Papers, classified documents regarding the 30-year involvement of the United States government in the Vietnam War, all while Katharine Graham was taking the company public. Spielberg does a decent job directing the film and pulls great performances from all of his actors, even those with smaller roles. He tells the story from multiple perspectives without getting the audience lost along the way. He also manages to capture the emotion of the characters in every scene which adds to the tension when the characters are faced with the decision to publish or not. At the same time, he delves into what it means to be a member of the press. The film does tend to drag a bit in the middle and would have worked better if there was more of a thriller aspect to it. It feels as if they received the Pentagon Papers undeservingly without having to try hard. I understand that this is based on true events, but this is where Spielberg should have embellished more. Having the main characters actually digging deep to find them would have helped the film tremendously.  Many of the higher members have friends who are highly involved in government and must decide what to do when they find out less than pleasant news about them. Do you spin the information to paint them in a better light in order to keep your friendships? Or not? It’s those kinds of questions that outline a good bit of the plot. Meryl Streep does a fine job portraying Katharine Graham. Streep plays Graham as an intelligent businesswoman, albeit shy and easily overwhelmed. Like others in the film, she struggles with balancing friendship and publishing the entire story. It doesn’t hurt that she looks the part as well. Tom Hanks also does a fine job portraying Ben Bradlee. The information contained in the Pentagon Papers is damaging to the reputations of some of his friends, but he feels strongly that the people deserve to know the truth about United States government involvement in the Vietnam War. It’s also fun to hear Tom Hanks attempt another accent. The rest of the main cast does a great job at supporting the leads in fleshing out this story. Even the minor roles play a major part in helping the leads make their decisions. The dialogue between them all makes you feel as if you were a fly on the wall in 1970s high society. I give The Post a Normal 6.9/10. The film is a nice history lesson but doesn’t extend beyond that.

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