“The Post” answers prayers to Hollywood for Steven Spielberg to direct a film starring Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks, the triple threat.
The film tells story of Katharine “Kay” Graham (Streep) the new (and first woman) publisher of the Washington Post. She takes the helm just after government secrets are leaked in 1971 revealing a cover-up spanning four presidents and their involvement in Vietnam — including sabotage against the communists, helping presidents rise/fall in power and continuing to send troops to a war they knew they were losing. The New York Times published the story, which was subsequently silenced by the courts.
The Washington Post then gets ahold of the papers. Ben Bradlee (Hanks) pushes to publish them, which would mean breaking the law and endangering the future of their paper. Kay must decide if she will follow the law and not publish, continuing to silence the story, or pursue freedom of the press and publish a story the country needs to know.
Is there anything “The Post” gets wrong?
The answer is, no, not really, thanks to a winning combination of Spielberg, Streep and Hanks, a snappy script and a score by the award-winning John Williams. The film’s release is also perfect timing for a story about the power of the press in a world full of “fake news.
The biggest problem with films such as “The Post,” which portray historical events is that they can be predictable because the history is known. The problem with predictability is that it’s boring.
Obviously, the Washington Post publishes; history tells us that, but it doesn’t say how. That’s the exciting story “The Post” tells. There is a thrill, a near-adrenaline rush, as the reporters, editors and publisher of the Post gather and piece together the story. There are tense phone calls and closed door conversations about what should or should not be done with the story.
The script makes the story exciting by using fun and engaging dialogue. It has inspiring speeches and laugh-out-loud moments.
That’s the other thing that makes “The Post” enjoyable — it’s fun watching this incredible cast playing these real-life, relatable characters.
There is so much to love about Kay and Ben. Kay is getting used to her role as publisher, growing into her leadership position. Ben is a hardened newspaper man who follows his gut, relentlessly pursuing a story because he knows the truth needs to be told. Seeing the two — and the two A-list actors who portray them — work together, butt heads and develop a friendship is pure delight.
“The Post” doesn’t pull punches on the meaning behind the film: It’s crucial to protect freedom of the press to tell the stories some don’t want told. Although the story is from the past, it’s one that is applicable today and in the future.
“The Post” is the best of Holly-wood in a timely film, and is certainly an experience not to be missed.