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‘The Post’ Review: Upheld the Freedom of Press Against All Odds

 

 

The Post is a film about the venture a group of journalists at The Washington Post braved through to uncover an inconvenient, but nonetheless, an undeniable truth that had to be made public knowledge.

With an all-star cast that includes heavyweights of the industry such as Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep, and Bruce Greenwood. Streep as the first female publisher of an American newspaper of its utmost vitality, and Tom Hanks as the executive editor at the post. And Greenwood as Robert McNamara, Secretary of Defense, who was close friends to Katherine Graham (Streep).

The premise is set in the weeks after the New York Times publishes the Pentagon Papers, classified documents in regards to the three decades worth of United States Government involvement in the Vietnam War.  McNamara discussing his dismay mid flight home on the fruitless endeavor in perpetuating the war to save face amidst the national coverage, and this caught the attention of military analyst Daniel Ellsberg (Matthew Rhys) onboard who became disenchanted and chose to blow the whistle on the deception of Nixon’s Administration on Vietnam.

Katherine Graham (Streep) is troubled with finding a balance between the paper she is heiress to, her social life, and the upcoming plan she has arranged for to thrust the paper into the stock market to further secure financial stability for the Washington Post.

One which leaves her at the beck and call of two sides of a coin, one which she is adamant to publish the Pentagon papers and risk the full force of the Nixon Administration and the other preferring to safeguarding her legacy within the Post but quite possibly losing the opportunity to cement the press with upholding the freedom it requires to coexist with authority.

It is no coincidence that one of the primary writers for this Spielberg directed film is Josh singer, who also wrote the screenplay for Spotlight a biographical drama, in which a team of journalists in Boston uncovered an undeniable swept-under-the-rug operation led by the Roman Catholic Church for child sex abuse of systemic proportions. So that too is comparable to what the Washington Post is attempting to do.

Speaking truth to authority and providing an objective template for the public to surmise their own opinions, and the Pentagon papers proved the United States government were not backing down on Vietnam solely on the simple fact of pride rather than risk the humiliation for having involvement in a war they could not win.

Spielberg’s direction showcases the newsroom sets of the Post in all its nostalgic grandeur and the debates between colleagues about the papers with niche camera angles, flavoring the imaging with a taciturn color scale that fits the decade in which it is set in. Tom Hanks found himself quite at home in the shoes he is in while filming and Streep excelling in expressing doubt while under duress from her advisors and employees alike.

This film will forever stay relevant since the rights of the press and all the amendments were paved with the sacrifices the patriots of the past gave to ensure it was for the people and by the people.

Featured Image Courtesy of Matt Wade’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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