Last year, one of the most overlooked releases in cinema was The Post, one of Steven Spielberg’s most prominent release, bested only by this year’s Ready Player One. After only receiving two nominations at the Academy Awards, it didn’t strike a chord at the box office and was also shut out critically. But by doing so, the general public unfortunately had The Post, an ultimately spectacular drama over the politics and logistics of journalism, swept cleanly under their view. Starring Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep in leading roles, The Post covers the Washington Post and their decisive choice to release a massive exposing of classified military secrets, shockingly spanning and revealing the lies of four US presidents. But with the government quickly moving against their plans, the importance of both the press and the truth is called into question. From the beginning, this pitch is enticing. It’s a relatively unknown story that highlights one of the most prominent features of our society-the press and is culturally relevant. But the film itself and its outstanding merits, from the performances in Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep to the luscious and ambient original score, should be commended as well and with the empty holiday season in full effect, should be recognized by more people. Boasting an outstanding ensemble, Spielberg’s The Post is a riveting collision of earth-shattering craft, only scorched by its somewhat lackluster finale.
The screenplay of the entire production is mostly moderate. There aren’t any glaring issues, outside of the conclusion, that compromise the enjoyment factor. Yes, there are certainly pacing issues present that make the overuse of exposition sequences all the more apparent. But with regards to exposition, it’s actually rather free of indulgence. The Post expects its audiences to keep up with the characters and the current politics explored. Failing to do so for even a couple of sequences can leave the viewer dazed and confused, until the film’s traditional and disappointing wrap-up.
That finale, the peak of any film, is a prominent issue. Instead of taking a more emotionally riveting route, it ends on a bland, somewhat sour note. The predictability of the situation begins to show and it causes the film to slow in its momentum.
The shining prospect of the production however, is the two lead performances in both Meryl Streep as Kay Graham and Tom Hanks as Ben Bradlee. Both these fantastic performers continue their reputation with intricate and subtle performances. Instead of flying lines onto screen with full-hearted and overdone charisma, Hanks and Streep are mature in their approach to their characters. Their roles may not be something new to them, but their interpretation is still entertaining to both watch and behold.
As a whole, The Post is a stunning film and one that easily ranks as the best in 2017. It may not be revolutionary for either the performers or its esteemed filmmaker, Steven Spielberg, but it has a unique heart and soul that consistently rivets the audience. Making good on its promise to depict one of the most influential moments in all of journalism, The Post is a thrilling time, only bogged down by its incessant finale.
Score: 8.6 out of 10
(Source: IMDb) When American military analyst, Daniel Ellsberg, realizes to his disgust the depths of the US government's deceptions about the futility of the Vietnam War, he takes action by copying top-secret documents that would become the Pentagon Papers. Later, Washington Post owner, Kay Graham, is still adjusting to taking over her late husband's business when editor Ben Bradlee discovers the New York Times has scooped them with an explosive expose on those papers. Determined to compete, Post reporters find Ellsberg himself and a complete copy of those papers. However, the Post's plans to publish their findings are put in jeopardy with a Federal restraining order that could get them all indicted for Contempt. Now, Kay Graham must decide whether to back down for the safety of her paper or publish and fight for the Freedom of the Press. In doing so, Graham and her staff join a fight that would have America's democratic ideals in the balance.
THE POST is available on home video now.