The Post Review – Spoiler Free
The Post is a film which comes directed by Steven Spielberg who some may know as the director of Jurassic Park (1993) or most recently Bridge Of Spies (2015). The film stars Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Sarah Paulson and Alison Brie.
The Post is a film set in the 1970’s during a time when newspaper companies The Post and The New York Times published a bunch of articles in their publications known as “The Pentagon Papers” which exposed a bunch of unwanted secrets about the US government’s actions during its involvement in Vietnam between 1945 to 1967, with the actions of multiple US presidents during the year being made public. Some of these actions in the past weren’t all that great and looked quite bad, especially for the Johnson administration. With the president in 1971 being Richard Nixon, the government at the time sought to try to keep things quiet and a lawsuit against the New York Times and later The Post was launched against the newspapers to in a way, stop them from publishing what they had found. The Pentagon Paper story is quite interesting, if you’re interested, you can read more about the Pentagon Papers right here.
Although it may seem that the film might teach audiences about the Pentagon Papers and the multiple motivations for the US being involved in Vietnam during those years, these things are sort of not really covered all that much. In fact, I finished the film and really I have no idea about that many details about the papers at all. What we as the audience hear mostly is that the government lied and that the press has the right to report whatever it wants because they should be able to tell the truth. The focus on the film is on the case between the government and the two newspaper companies with the main theme in the film being about the first amendment in the US constitution (the free speech one).
As a story, I don’t really mind what The Post is. For the most part it is interesting as I really don’t know that much about the period and didn’t know anything about the court case I learnt about during the film. Although, when thinking about the film and the current political climate, should you follow what’s going on in the US with Trump and The New York Times at the moment and the attacks between the government there and some of the less friendly press. I can’t help but think that this film and its message about letting the press be free is sort of possibly propaganda to be added into the mix for the current fake new climate. I might be wrong and maybe it isn’t at all, but I can’t help but feel that way with this one.
I do wonder a little about the characters in the film and their own motivations for publishing the stories. I find it hard to believe the newspapers are about nothing but the ‘truth’ for the people and not about the amount of money they’ll make on the paper run with a story as big as the Pentagon Papers. They’ll make heaps of money on the sales and ad revenue that week won’t they?
The actors in this are all quite good. I have no complaints at all when it comes to Tom Hanks or Meryl Streep’s performance in this one. The two deliver their lines exceptionally and shouldn’t disappoint the audience at all. Steven Spielberg has done well with the directing of this one and the film looks clean and slick at all times.
The film is however paced quite slowly and it takes a long time for the story of the Pentagon Papers to get told. As a film with heavy political messaging within it, I think the audience for this one is a little low. I’m not sure how many of the readers of this site will enjoy this one and as a film to travel to the cinema for to see, I could see many of the readers here getting bored with it. But it might be something interesting to pick up on Netflix or on something similar when it releases if you want to.
Overall the film is well acted and has a great director behind it all. It has an interesting historical story about a time when the newspapers published some secret documents and got in a bit of trouble from the government for it. But it’s a strong political film that I don’t think will be for everyone, especially overseas audiences as it is very US centric. Some will love this one, but I can see many others getting bored as the film doesn’t have that much drama or tension, it’s mostly talking and more talking. Those who do go to see it will be left with a strong message of the importance of free speech and the first amendment, which they can discuss with their friends as they leave the cinema and that’s really important don’t you think?