History is not something to be forgotten. It is to be learned from so not to be repeated. The new film, "The Post," sheds light on the past and brings it to the forethought of today.
The story follows the work of journalists at the New York Times and the Washington Post who published the Pentagon Papers. These papers document the United States involvement in the Vietnam War. It shows how the public was misled as time went on through several different presidential administrations.
As a journalist, this film is something in which I can easily relate. I know the pressure behind a deadline and the thrill to be the first to break a story. This movie puts the audience right into that environment and does not let up for a second. It shows the dynamics of the newsroom and how things can change from one minute to the next.
Tom Hanks plays legendary Washington Post editor, Ben Bradlee. From what I have read about Bradlee, I have always thought it would be neat to learn from a guy like him. In some ways, I have had that experience with editors I have worked alongside with. These individuals had the same dedication to the craft as Bradlee. Several times in the movie I could see the same passion Bradley had for his work that has been instilled in me.
Before taking on this role, Hanks has shown his support to journalists and their mission. The Post reported in March that Hanks bought an espresso machine for the White House Press Corps. In a note with the machine, Hanks wrote, "To the White House Press Corps, Keep up the good fight for Truth, Justice, and the American Way. Especially the Truth part."
That admiration for journalists and their job shows in Hanks acting, as he brings Bradlee’s personality to life showing his duty to the public and their right to know all the facts.
Another asset to this film is the casting of Bob Odenkirk as veteran journalist Bob Bagdikian. Odenkirk's performance is genuine. He is upfront about what he is feeling and is not afraid to tell you. He shows that work behind a story takes time and each team member plays a vital role in getting the story out. No role is small.
Meryl Streep plays the part of the Washington Post’s publisher Kay Graham. I found her performance in this film to be good but lacking.
As publisher Graham was torn between keeping investors happy as she took the paper from a private to a public company and her duty to the public. Streep in this role seemed — to me — a little conflicted. It felt that she could not figure out Graham’s personality and how to fit it into the narrative. I was hoping for something a little stronger. She left a lot on the table.
Dispute the one drawback, “The Post” is an excellent movie. This film needs to be seen before it leaves theaters because it highlights an important part of history and the people who were a part of it.
I give “The Post” four and a half mustaches out of five.
This film is rated PG-13 for language and brief war violence. It runs 116 minutes.