The Post – Film Review

The Post is a historical biographical drama and political thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks. The film addresses the true events of the journalists at The Washington Post during the leak of Pentagon Papers, classified documents regarding the 30-year involvement of the United States government in the Vietnam War.

Meryl Streep plays Kay Graham, the United States’ first female newspaper publisher who is trying to keep the family company afloat by opening the company to the public for the first time. Tom Hanks plays Ben Bradlee, feisty, stubborn and driven chief editor of The Washington Post. Wanting to do what’s right but also wanting to keep the family company afloat, Kay needs to decide on whether to publish extensive and sensitive details of the classified documents and piss off President Nixon in the process, or to not publish, keep the company board happy and the company safe by staying out of harm’s way.

The Post is set in the 1970’s and displays extensively the sexist environment that would have been the norm at the time. This is evident in the way Meryl Streep’s character Kay is treated by the members of her company board. In one scene I felt like Kay’s personal space was being invaded when everyone had come over to her house whilst she still was in her sleeping gown, bickering and arguing while trying to convince Kay to do what they felt was right without really wondering on how Kay felt. Powerful women were still not common in society and thus even though Kay Graham was the boss, she wasn’t treated with respect because she was a woman.

I was surprised that this film was the first time Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks had been on screen together. I found both their performances solid and consistent. Nothing incredible to deserve winning any awards, but still, impressive nonetheless. I loved the coloured tones of the film, the costumes and set designs. It blew my mind how different technology was back then when Bob Odenkirk’s character Ben Bagdikian had to go for a long walk to a public phone area to return a phone call. I also found it very fascinating the way newspapers were made back then with all content being made into metal stamps to literally print the paper. Times have changed, most of these things are done digitally now, so I really loved and appreciated how the film displayed how newspapers used to be published.

I think that The Post is appropriate and current despite being something that happened back in the 70’s, I think that we need to be reminded that we shouldn’t be censored or bullied from doing what we feel is right. If you like political thrillers, I would recommend giving this film a look. Whilst I wasn’t on the edge of my seat when viewing this film, I still found it interesting and somewhat exciting.

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