Oh, how very different the worlds news was prior to the internet! Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks team up again – that’s five times now – to bring us political drama THE POST…oh yeah, did I mention it also stars Meryl Streep? Talk about a power house trio!
When documents revealing a Government cover up that spanned four U.S Presidents fall in to the hands of the press, the first female newspaper publisher (Streep) and her determined editor (Hanks) are pushed to do battle between journalists and Government; risking not only their publication, but also their freedom, to exercise the rights of the free press.
I could sum up this review in three words: Spielberg, Hanks & Streep.
Need I say more? With names like this above the title, you know you’re in for a treat. Although, with all three legends pushing (or well past!) retirement age, a part of me can’t help but worry: Will they lose their touch? Will the day come when they disappoint? That remains to be seen – but it is not this day!
Let’s be honest: In less capable hands THE POST could have been boring. Yet with such a phenomenal ensemble – lead by an utterly engrossing Streep – the film strides along, maintaining solid pace and intensity despite its ‘plodding’ timeline. We are talking an era prior to the instantaneous nature of the internet. A time when a journalist could sit on a story for months (if his secrecy was good enough). In fact, the leaked documents featured in this flick are years old. However, the brilliant performances of the cast keep you on the edge of your seat regardless of the slower pace of the period in which the film is set.
As you would expect in a Spielberg film, the cinematography is a highlight, with carefully considered and painstakingly composed shots. John Williams score adds weight, though never truly stands outs. While Spielberg doesn’t fall in to the “God bless America!” trap that Clint Eastwood can’t seem to avoid, things do get a little heavy handed in terms of putting the press on a pedestal. There’s a somewhat corny element at the end as tearful journalists hail the power of the press. It prompts a few eye rolls.
THE POST: A tight, well executed political drama. Brilliant acting and expert direction result in a gripping film, despite it’s relatively dry topic. I rate it 8.5 stars.