From the very beginning, The Post was destined to be a success having been directed by Steven Spielberg with the two leading roles given to Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep. The film is an informative and historically accurate film about how the government lied about its confidence of the U.S involvement in the Vietnam war. Aware from the very beginning of its imminent failure, millions of lives were pointlessly lost over seas. An American military analyst, Daniel Ellssberg (Matthew Rhys) discovers the government’s lies and copies the top-secret documents that would expose those lies. It was up to the Washington Post to report to truth. The film is more relatable today than ever, with the current state of our government and how the truth within the media is becoming more and more tarnished by the day. While The Post is a clear political response to the current state of journalism.
Spielberg’s The Post couldn’t be more timely addition with the current state of journalism being tarnished. The film’s message isn’t stated subtly and acts as a grand state on what is currently considered the “truth” and how that very word becomes more and more meaningless day by day. The Post emphasizes the importance of professional journalism much like Best Picture winner, Spotlight.
Hanks superbly plays Ben Bradlee, the editor of the Washington Post, who makes it his mission to get those secrets out to the public. He has delivered, yet again, a fantastic performance as always, proving that he is enjoyable in any movie he is in. Although, he proved his worthiness back in 1988 when he starred in Big. Streep plays Kay Graham, the owner of the Washington Post (also the first female owner of any major newspaper). Making matters complicated, one of Kay’s closer friends is Robert McNamara (Bruce Greenwood), a man who had an enormous role in the country’s involvement in the war. Kay is possibly the most compelling character as she struggled with the ethical issues that presented themselves, along with having the fate of the Washington Post hanging over head. Kay had to make an executive decision between journalistic integrity (with the possibility of the entire company going to prison) or shameful compliance.
Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul, Nebraska) plays Ben Bagdikian who found the source of the government’s lies. Getting in contact with Daniel, Ben makes it his mission to get these secrets to the paper and have them published immediately. Odenkirk gives us another great performance on top of the already star-studded cast.
The Post is one of those “true story” movies that is still compelling even when the viewer is aware of the outcome, much like Captain Phillips or Sully, both also starring Tom Hanks. Notice a pattern here? The film is motivating, engaging, and compelling. Would the film have been so without two of the greatest living actors? Its hard to tell, but with Spielberg directing, you know it’ll be a box office hit.
Rated PG-13 for language and brief war violence