“The Post” review

William Sikich

The media’s ability to criticize the decisions of politicians has always played an important role in keeping the American government in check, and this has only become more prominent as technology has advanced and political tensions risen in recent times. As a result, the release of Steven Spielberg’s historical drama, “The Post”, acts as a particularly powerful and timely statement about this highly valued staple of the American social structure.

“The Post”, starring Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks, primarily tells the true story of “The Washington Post’s” efforts to inform the American people about the many transgressions committed by their government during the Vietnam War. However, “The Post” also relays the parallel, yet equally important, tale of the United States’ first female newspaper publisher and her personal struggle with the oppressive nature of her position. As the evidence piles on, along with the pressure to act, Kay Graham, played by Meryl Streep, must reevaluate her priorities, reconsider her loyalties, and ultimately publish a story that will decide the fate of American free press.

Spielberg’s unique cinematic touch, combined with Streep and Hanks’s emotionally charged performances and some truly exceptional writing by Liz Hannah and Josh Singer, makes this film a true representation of American culture and idealism. On the surface, “The Post” is a movie about one paper’s dedication to the protection of free press, and it does a fantastic job of conveying the importance of this dedication. However, when examined with a particular focus on Kay Graham’s impossibly difficult role in this situation, it becomes a story about one woman’s dedication to remaining true to herself. Certainly, freedom of the press is a worthy enough cause on its own for a movie to promote, but “The Post’s” ability to move us as an audience comes from Graham’s personal journey as a publisher and as a woman in an entirely male-dominated field. Throughout the film, Graham’s male coworkers belittle and question her, challenging her competency as an effective publisher. However, through integrity and personal conviction, she manages to remain strong in spite of overwhelming adversity and stick to her guns when it counts the most.

“The Post” is the rare film that delivers a profound and beautifully crafted message, while also prompting genuine emotional investment in its characters. This investment comes as a result of the thorough character development and patient plot progression, both of which are elements too often missing from modern films . Although it was filmed entirely within the span of a single year, “The Post” feels anything but rushed, and I strongly recommend experiencing this masterfully produced representation of our great nation.