The Post is a timely defense of free press

By: Darlene Leal
Reporter

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Tom Hanks’ Brad Bradlee and the rest of his trusted reporters start to look over the Pentagon Papers. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Fox.

“The Post” is extremely relevant with the telling of Katherine Graham and Ben Bradlee’s fight for freedom of the press against the government.

“The Post” focuses on the Washington Post’s fight to publish the Pentagon Papers, which included classified information about the US’s political-military involvement in the Vietnam War. Although the film took place in 1971, the issue is still very much relevant today with its main theme of freedom of press and the right to publish information that the government is trying to hide from the public eye.

Not to get too political, but today it is evident with the Trump Administration as they try to limit and nitpick what news outlets can and cannot report on. This parallel creates an easily distinguishable comparison to modern day.

The movie itself starts off very much like a mockumentary. It is very informative of the background of Katherine Graham and her struggles as a woman running the Washington Post, her struggles of wanting to go public, and her loyalty to her readers versus her government friends. The movie picks up once they find out their competition, the New York Times, has received government documents that are very concerning. It is then when the movie shifts and can be described as a “journalism thriller.”

Streep’s and Hanks’ performances are expectedly well done, especially as a pair. The audience can sympathize for Streep as she is a woman in the running a business in the ‘70s that has been passed down in her family. Although she is always involved, she is often being ignored by her own board. She also has to deal with impressing the people who are invested with her business but yet there is a light and a kick of motivation. The audience wants Streep’s portrayal of Graham to succeed. Hanks delivers an enjoyable performance of the Post editor Ben Bradlee. Hanks really shows Bradlees determination and drive in his performance.

The movie is, as stated, slower paced, but once it reaches the middle it captivates the audience. The viewer wants the press to win against the abuse of power and the process to win is what captivates the watcher.

3 out of 5 torches

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