By Peter Castillo
Steven Spielberg’s “The Post” lived up to its lofty expectations and is more than deserving of the widespread acclaim and the several Golden Globe nominations the film has received.
The film was shot and completed in less than one year.
The film details the events that surrounded the Pentagon Papers and the battle that ensued between the free press and the White House which tried desperately to protect its secrets of the Vietnam War.
Meryl Streep plays Katharine Graham, the publisher of the Washington Post, while Tom Hanks plays Ben Bradlee, the publication’s editor.
Both of the actors deliver a pair of strong performances.
While it is difficult to create a historical drama that doesn’t feel predictable, Spielberg and company are able to pull it off by paying close attention to character development.
For the better part of the film, Streep’s character often appears feeble in the presence of a male-dominated era in journalism.
Her advisers and contemporaries often doubt she has the wit and determination to propel the Washington Post to new heights.
As the film gains momentum, Streep’s character begins to assert herself and allows the Washington Post to publish the controversial story about the White House guarding secrets of the Vietnam War despite the potential drawbacks and punishments.
A standout performance by Bob Odenkirk, who plays Ben Bagdikian, the journalist who uncovered the source for the Washington Post, adds depth to the already outstanding cast.
John Williams, who has composed themes for Star Wars and the Olympics, provided the Golden Globe nominated score for the film.
In many ways, this film acts as a commentary in today’s landscape of politics and journalism.
It is striking to see how much different the relationship between the media and the government. President Richard Nixon feared what would be published about him in the press. While the current president of the United States has made a mockery of the way mainstream news is presented.
One drawback of the film is it downplays the significance of the role The New York Times had in uncovering the Pentagon Papers as it overstates the significance of the Washington Post and Graham to some degree.
Another is the film starts slow and takes some time to develop and gain momentum.
However, the film compares favorably to similar films of this genre such as “All the President’s Men” and “Spotlight.”
“The Post” is definitely a must-see due to the strong acting throughout the film by the ensemble cast.
I give the film four out of five stars.