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The Post- Movie Review

Cecilia Friess, Reporter

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“The Post” (2017) chronicles the struggle of Washington Post reporters as they attempt to publish information about the Pentagon Papers, leaked classified documents pertaining to the Vietnam War.

Set in the early ‘70s, the film is primarily focussed on Katherine Graham, the first female publisher of a major newspaper. We see her attempt to gain the respect of her male advisors and workers, maintain a pleasant home life, move past the deaths of her father and her husband, and set up the Washington Post for a successful stock market launch, all while the US government attempts to stop the papers’ release.

Katherine Graham (Streep) hesitates to speak up in a meeting with her all-male advisors (digg.com).

The pivotal role of Katherine Graham is portrayed with expected quality and subtlety by Meryl Streep, who exhumes Graham’s struggle to overcome her meekness and finally speak up about what she wants her paper to be. The passiveness of Streep’s character is offset by the more assertive attitude of her editor-in-chief Ben Bradlee, played by Tom Hanks. Hanks also delivers on his role, adopting the gruff but charming mannerisms of his subject. The movie’s somber tone is conducted with skill by director Steven Spielberg, cool-toned period sets and costumes contributing greatly as well. John William’s stirring score bestows a sense of urgency that ensures that even that some otherwise mundane scenes are interesting. 

Spielberg with Streep and Hanks on the set of “The Post” (Houston Chronicle).

 

And that brings me to a quite paradoxical element of the film- it’s over two hours long, is about a newspaper, and yet somehow it manages to utilize its time in such a way that you hardly notice the plot has progressed, leaving you mellow but intrigued. It’s slow, certainly, so much so that some plot points and details flew completely over my head. For instance, I was never able to catch the name of Hanks’s character. While a small issue, it is still an issue. I doubt people who don’t already have some background or context for the subject matter will be able to follow it very well.

Overall, “The Post” is a competent movie which, though taking place 40 years ago, successfully, if obviously, draws comparisons between the then and now. But with such big names that we’ve come to expect excellence from, it is impossible to consider this movie a masterpiece by any account. It’s a good movie, and I recommend it to anyone looking for a safe, above-average way to spend two hours.

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The Post- Movie Review