Very much in the vein of Spotlight, The Post follows the journalists of the Washington Post as they take on the federal government and race to publish the Pentagon Papers, leaked documents that reveal the lies told about the Vietnam War that spanned four presidencies. This true story of people taking on a corrupt presidency is extremely relevant to modern day America.
The fact that all the power falls into the hands of a woman further makes the film so current to todays society, as we watch a woman who never expected to be in this position, who is not taken seriously by the men who surround her, defy all their advice as she makes perhaps the biggest decision of her life, to print or not to print. It makes for a serious ‘Yes Girl’ moment. Streep, as usual, is all class as Katherine Graham, and there is the most wonderful scene at the end of the movie where she exits the courtroom to a crowd of women all completely entranced by her and what she has achieved. It is a touching and inspirational scene that really packs a relevant punch.
The film also manages to capture a profound sense of nostalgia. It is an homage to the era of the print press. The shots of the newsroom, the journalists leafing through piles of papers as they desperately search to find their story, the calls from payphones to secret sources, the piles of newspapers being delivered to the street vendors and the ending with the impressive scene inside the printing room where we see the papers going to press are all so visually inviting. There’s something so wonderful about this glimpse into a 1970’s newsroom, into a time when we couldn’t get breaking news within seconds when we relied upon the journalists to give us the truth, to give us the stories, to give us the news. I like to think if I’d have been born a few decades earlier I would have would have been one of them!
There are no huge action scenes here, but the film still features such high drama, we watch the story gather pace as the journalists frantically uncover the truth whilst the stakes get raised higher and higher, and by the time the film reached the dramatic crux of the story I was on the edge of my seat in the cinema. The dramatic score, the talent of Hanks and Streep and the clever camera shots all come together to make this an incredibly tense and thrilling journey.
At the end of the day it is a film about the fight for the freedom of speech, people speaking out against the establishment and fighting for the truth to be told and I loved it. I’m surprised that there has not been more of a buzz around this film particularly considering the major players of Hanks, Streep and Spielberg, but I have yet to see all the nominees so I’ll reserve my final judgements for later. For now let me say this is a superb piece of cinema and I thoroughly recommend you give it a watch!