In a tense yet gratifying telltale about the world of news, “The Post” delivers a thrilling depiction of Katharine Graham’s reign as publisher of The Washington Post.
Set in the early 1970s, the film delineates the tumultuous times of journalism during the Nixon Administration. Graham (played by Meryl Streep) is a strong, willful woman who does not let herself succumb to sexism or male chauvinism in the workplace. She works alongside editor Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks) in an effort to uncover and expose the truths that the United States government has been hiding about the Vietnam War for the time span of four presidencies.
The film nods towards the financial conflict about the publicizing of the newspaper and the nationwide popularity of competing paper The New York Times. When a leak of government secrets gets out, later dubbed the “Pentagon Papers,” both print media outlets are in a race to publish the documents and be the superhero they believe the country needs.
The subsequent publishing comes with a catch – for both the Times and the Post. The former causes a stir on their part, and the latter is faced with an extremely critical decision that can lead to Graham, Bradlee and the rest of the company’s demise.
Naturally, the editors and journalists are under an enormous amount of pressure and, throughout the film, it enables the audience to feel that, too. The movie leaves one on the edge of their seat – compelled, trepidatious and intrigued.
However, the movie had an unsteady pace. At times the events and plot moved rather quickly, fitting for a film about a major news outlet. Yet most of the time it moved slowly – often too slowly. The film held onto certain points for far too long when it could have focused on more impactful aspects, such as the notable boardroom meeting when Graham had to face 20-some-odd powerful men who still believed it was her deceased husband’s business and left her somewhat repressed.
This did not ruin the movie, fortunately, as it allowed one to appreciate the influential events and delivered itself just well enough in order for the essential messages to come through at a time when the news is so greatly needed. It perfectly and reverently depicts history and the power of journalism, and the story of how only a few people can shed light on issues that are so important.
Editor’s note: A senior at Cranston High School East, Kellsie King is exploring a career in journalism and wrote this review.