Only a few films have successfully adapted the world of journalism at its cutting edge, gambling everything in order to expose a greater truth and let me tell you, The Post is certainly one of these films.
The Post is a social thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg; based around the Exposé of government secrets regarding the Vietnam War by The Washing Post.
This tight and engaging story is focused around the team attempting to release top secret papers of the Vietnam War to the public. When watching journalists take on a massive corrupt establishment it’s hard not to begin comparing the film’s style to the 2015 Best Picture Winner Spotlight – both showing a fairly realistic take on adapting real events. Watching both of these films give you a clear idea of what elements were done right or wrong. The Post may not exude the same raw and emotional performances or the same gripping subject matter, but what it lacks in those elements it makes up for in interesting character motivations and tension building. The Post specifically shines a light on characters, showing a clear and distinct line of development. Yes, there are a few flaws, the first act took a while to get invested in; within the 45 minutes it did however manage to pick up some speed and get the ball rolling when the characters grow on you. Despite the minor slow pace of the first act this film was gripping until the very end. Spielberg has many notches on his belt regarding success, and nobody can be surprised if you watch one of his films and you’re damn entertained.
In this film we get two giants working together – Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep, they both own the screen and watching them interact is like watching every musical be orchestrated by Mozart. Streep plays the role of the owner of The Washington Post and represents her real life counterpart in accuracy; softly tempered but focused, Streep displays all of the struggles that are accompanied with being in her position. She masterfully shows her characters personal internal struggle in coping with a challenging conflict of interest. Hanks portrays the role of the Editor in Chief at the Washington Post and partially as both Streep’s near equal as a colleague – his character is more of a direct and focused man, with experience behind himself and a clear vision of what he needs to do. Though Both Hanks and Streep were fantastic, the story they were in wasn’t a perfect channel for them to act at their peak level however.
The camerawork throughout was consistent and focused, when characters felt alone in their decisions they would stand centered in a frame in a large room with nobody to be seen. When events were heating up the shots did as well, overall you get plenty of easy to digest camerawork that sits where it needs to at all the right times. In the office it stands at desk level or eye level, in larger buildings or more important buildings it stands tall and overpowering, all of these elements are a clear indication of experience and a knack for being behind a camera, something that Spielberg has a lot of. The score by John Williams was riveting and intense, anybody who knows John Williams work well enough can immediately tell it is the master craftsman at work. Williams tickles tension when the film moves from sequence to sequence, he knows every shot and how to put the perfect note on that shot.
Spielberg is a veteran, Streep is a veteran, Hanks is a veteran, Williams is a veteran – what more can be said about a group of masterful individuals coming together to construct a story? It’s damn riveting and nobody can be surprised by this; yes, this film may not be the best of the year, but it can damn well keep your attention, no doubt. With a strong message and a firmly engaging story; The Post is the perfect example of veteran individuals doing what they do best – acting, directing, and scoring a solidly crafted film.