History’s First Draft

The Post

Director: Steven Spielberg

Cast: Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Sarah Paulson, Jesse Plemons, Carrie Coon, Bob Odenkirk, Bruce Greenwood, Tracy Letts, Michael Stulbarg, Matthew Rhys, Bradley Whitford, Alison Brie

Before Julian Assange, before Edward Snowden, there was the Pentagon Papers.

A top level government study on how the Americans had been involved in Vietnam way before the infamous Vietnam War and how during that bloodletting fiasco, the Americans realized that they were losing the war in South East Asia, yet still continued to send troops in to fight the Viet Cong.

The leaking of the Pentagon Papers, firstly by the New York Times and then more pertinently by The Washington Post during the Nixon administration is the source of Oscar winning director Steven Spielberg’s fascinating film The Post starring two Oscar winners, Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady) as owner of the Post, Katherine Graham and Tom Hanks (Philadelphia) as Ben Bradlee, the executive editor of The Washington Post https://www.washingtonpost.com/ who seizes on the story of a decade and pushes for his newspaper to release the classified documents despite the possible legal or financial consequences.

Streep as usual, is superb as the doubtful and affluent socialite Katherine Graham who inherits her father’s newspaper The Washington Post upon her husband’s death and then is forced into an invidious position when she is called upon to make the critical decision on whether to let the newspaper publish the Pentagon Papers at a time when New York investors are eagerly awaiting The Washington Post Company’s IPO (Initial Public Offering) on the American Stock Exchange, which could hugely benefit the fortunes of the struggling newspaper.

Spielberg packs a lot into The Post, and it would be advisable for viewers to read up thoroughly about that crucial historical period in 1971 which was so decisive and widely regarded as the turning point of American press freedom. All these events occurred prior to the Watergate scandal.

The publication of the Pentagon Papers ultimately changed the American public’s sentiment on the viability of troops in Vietnam and the legal outcome after the Supreme Court ruling elevated Katherine Graham to a media doyenne, a feminist and a massively influential woman who changed the business world’s view on how a single woman can influence and transform a media empire.

There is a solid supporting cast of actors in The Post to add gravitas to a riveting tale of journalistic bravery, including Sarah Poulson as Bradlee’s wife Toni who gives her own feminine perspective on why what Katherine Graham was doing was vitally important and brave. Other supporting actors include Bob Odenkirk, Matthew Phys, Carrie Coon, Jesse Plemons and Tracy Letts.

In the age of the Internet, Fake News and a 24 Hour news cycle, The Post is a critical film to watch and be discussed and is especially relevant in 2018 as back then in 1971, which basically implies that at every historical junction, the media must always hold the country’s government accountable. After all, the news is History’s First Draft.

My only criticism is that screenwriters Liz Hannah and Josh Singer should have contextualized the dramatic events more efficiently so that a 21st century audience could appreciate the bravery of publishing critical information without fear or favour.

The Post is brilliant viewing and a highly recommended film about press freedom under a sinister government which makes the film’s ending all the more relevant. The Post receives a film rating of 8.5 out of 10.

Read more on Katherine Grahamhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katharine_Graham

Read more on Ben Bradleehttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Bradlee

 

 

 

Comments are closed.

Film Directors & Festivals
Reviews and Awards
Review Calender
February 2018
M T W T F S S
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728  
  • Apple Nabs Cooper Raiff’s ‘Cha Cha Real Smooth’ Out of Sundance
    Cooper Raiff’s “Cha Cha Real Smooth” is officially dancing to Apple TV Plus. The tech giant and growing streamer has nabbed the second feature from the heat-seeking director out of this year’s virtual edition of the Sundance Film Festival. Apple emerged victorious from a competitive bidding market that had attracted Netflix, Amazon and Sony Pictures […]
    varietymattdonnelly
  • MSNBC Sends Stephanie Ruhle to Brian Williams’ Slot As ‘Morning Joe’ Expands
    MSNBC is sending a morning anchor to late night in order to expand its biggest A.M. franchise. The NBCUniversal-backed cable news outlet intends to shift Stephanie Ruhle from her mid-morning role to its late-night program, “The 11th Hour” as part of a bid to expand one of its key programs, ‘Morning Joe,” according to three […]
    Brian Steinberg
  • ‘The Book of Boba Fett’: How Episode 5 Expands the ‘Star Wars’ Universe and Resets Fan Expectations
    SPOILER WARNING: This post discusses major plot developments in Season 1, Episode 5 of “The Book of Boba Fett,” currently streaming on Disney Plus. Throughout the first season of “The Book of Boba Fett,” it always felt like a matter of time before Pedro Pascal’s Mando from “The Mandalorian” sauntered back into the story. “Boba […]
    Adam B. Vary
  • ‘Skeleton Crew’ Review: Phylicia Rashad, Chanté Adams Shine in Vibrant, Profoundly Layered Play
    The playwright Dominique Morisseau knows what she is doing. That’s clear not only because she says it so convincingly in her Playbill note for Manhattan Theatre Club’s production of “Skeleton Crew,” but because she writes this moving drama with pristine delicacy and develops its characters with rigorous detail and tact. Under the masterful direction of […]
    Gordon Cox
  • Netflix’s ‘Baahubali’ Prequel Series Being ‘Reevaluated’
    The much anticipated “Baahubali: Before The Beginning,” the two-season Netflix prequel to India’s “Baahubali” blockbuster films, is now being “reevaluated” Variety understands. The series was announced with much fanfare in 2018 with the film’s producer Arka Mediaworks producing for Netflix. Deva Katta (“Prasthanam”) and Praveen Sattaru (“Guntur Talkies”) were due to direct. Based on the […]
    Naman Ramachandran
  • Read More
    Different providers offer different cell phones, so take a look at the options from each provider to choose the right one for you. You may also want to look into any promotions that the providers have to offer, such as free cell phones in exchange for signing a contract. Tags: 2gmhass90