Thursday, January 18, 2018

[Review] The Post

"Journalism" and "thriller" aren't two words that often appear alongside each other, especially when it comes to the movies, but that's the headline for Steven Spielberg's latest prestige flick, The Post. And while it probably won't blow you away, the film essentially achieves its mission and gets its timely message across with veteran composure and an ensemble of some really good acting.

The story focuses on the true story of journalists from The Washington Post and their risky, strenuous undertaking in publishing the classified Pentagon Papers, which held some very eye-opening information about the United States and the Vietnam War. The film features a top-notch cast, including the likes of Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Michael Stuhlbarg, Tracy Letts, and Bob Odenkirk. It's definitely no surprise that the performances are thoroughly solid across the board.

It begins a little slow and procedural, but what eventually unfolds is a taut, unprecedented battle between newspaper and government. Justice and corruption. Exposé and cover-ups. And even though it's set in 1970s (smoky, drab aesthetic and all), what stands out is just how startlingly relevant the narrative is to today's times -- with its themes about freedom of the press (and speech), the power of truth, the importance of being on the right side of history amidst all the conflict and turbulence, and yes -- women breaking down industry barriers. The film is also very reminiscent of 2015's Best Picture winner Spotlight. In fact, Liz Hannah's screenplay enlists Josh Singer as a co-writer here.

Ultimately, it's the little details that make The Post tick: Odenkirk's character clumsily lugging the documents onto a plane and into a taxi... Tom Hanks' raspy delivery of pointed quips ("The President has taken a shit all over the First Amendment!"). And in the end, the film is a vigorous ode to everyday people doing their duty behind-the-scenes.

( 8/10 )

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