Sunday, January 14, 2018

The Post

Movie Name: The Post
Year of Release: 2017
Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Sarah Paulson, Bob Odenkirk, Tracy Letts, Bradley Whitford, Bruce Greenwood, Matthew Rhys, Alison Brie, Carrie Coon, Jesse Plemons, Michael Stuhlbarg, David Cross, Zach Woods, Pat Healy, John Rue, Rick Holmes, Philip Casnoff, Jessie Mueller, Stark Sands, Will Denton, Jennifer Dundas, Christopher Innvar, Coral Pena
Genre: Drama
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 8
View Trailer

Following his less seen, but by no means less excellent, "The BFG", celebrated director Steven Spielberg is back, with one of his finest features of the last few years. The film is based on the true story of the events that surrounded the publication of the Pentagon Papers by The Washington Post in 1971, during the Nixon administration. The film specifically focuses on the story of Kay Graham, the owner and publisher of the Washington Post, a woman who inherited that position following her husband's suicide. The film introduces us to her and to the scenario, as the newspaper is about to go public. When we're introduced to Kay she's depicted as an intelligent, humane and kind person, without much voice of her own, in a business that is solely male dominated, and where her input is considered secondary. She has a dynamic relationship with her editor, something that escalates when the New York Times starts publishing a classified document, that details the findings surrounding the involvement of the Government in the Vietnam War. This event sparks a scandal of epic proportions, and the Times is indicted as a direct result of that. When the source that started this while process finds its way to the Post, it's up to Kay to decide what to do with the publication of those documents, and how that can impact the future of her newspaper and its employees.
"The Post" is a film, much like Alan J. Pakula's "All the President's Men" that serves the point of illustrating that exposing the truth, is at times a perilous and difficult task, one that involves overcoming powerful voices that just want to silence that same truth. This is a film that comes at an important time, when the debates surrounding the veracity of news is being questioned on a daily basis. This film is perfectly executed by Steven Spielberg and his fantastically talented team - they manage to create a perfect choreography of actors and camera, and make the scenes flow seamlessly, without a falter or glitch. It's a testimony to the director's capabilities, that the film never feels overly didactic or sanctimonious - it's a film that showcases what a tremendously talented director, with an impeccable production team and cast can effectively do - deliver a gut wrenching lesson on the power of free speech and upholding justice. The cast is truly stelar, with Meryl Streep once again delivering a nuanced performance, which contrasts heavily with Tom Hanks, who this time arounds plays the character always on the verge of a heart attack (this role would have been more interesting if played by someone such as David Strathairn). The supporting cast is uniformly impeccable, particularly the always underrated Bruce Greenwood, Bob Odenkirk, Sarah Paulson and the fantastic Tracy Letts. A fantastic film worth watching and discussing.