The arrival of The Post in cinemas is impeccable in its timing; with an unstable President and the never-ending crisis in the U.S. government, it couldn’t be more relevant today.
What’s putting off is that the film makes it a task to tell you how important it is. Generating Oscar buzz with it’s very first poster announcing Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg at its helm, The Post is about stellar journalism and all it stands for.
The first ever female publisher at The Washington Post, Katherine Graham (Streep) and editor Ben Bradlee (Hanks) race against time, risking their fortunes and freedom to expose a massive government cover up.
The film is paced like a thriller and flies by, apart from the scenes involving character’s personal musings. Accompanied by quite a tight script, it gradually works towards a euphoric end. John Williams’s score helps drive home the intensity of events, telling you how high the stakes really are.
It is an accurate description of the complicated newspaper business involving high pressure situations and social activism. The bounty of A list actors in the film don’t disappoint; the performances come across as gritty and realistic, but at times grandiose
Streep strikes a chord as a highly strung yet firm woman, nervous in her decisions but with an unwavering resolve. In a scene, she tries to swing back to normalcy after making the toughest decision of her life. You can see her fingers trembling as she puts on her glasses to read a piece of paper.
The film is littered with speeches instead of dialogues, with several instances of characters passionately yelling while the camera zooms in on their faces and the music swells. The makers might as well add in a subtitle stating, “Important quote- please pay attention” in most of these scenes. This is particularly enhanced in a speech towards the end, where the music reaches a crescendo and we zoom in on the person’s face as her eyes brim with tears.
It’s quite preachy, and The Post could’ve done better than constantly remind you that what you’re watching is salient. The Post makes it a point to tell the story of press during Nixon’s presidency, and it’s a grim reminder of how things are in the US today.
Considering that Nixon curtailed press freedom, the movie ends with a subtle nudge at the next big story that was to break out of his office, and it feels like sweet revenge.
Apart from the occasional slow scenes and the dialogues which seem like they were written to be used as quotes, The Post is a good thriller based on a strong story, powerful performances and “important” subject matter.