by Anna Cook
“The Post,” directed by Steven Spielberg, takes place in the United States during the Vietnam War, but could not be more relevant to modern-day society. “The Post” is an absolutely brilliant film that leaves audiences in suspense, even if they know the outcome.
Released in January, the film offers an enticing representation of a well-known time period in which Spielberg conveys a significant turning point in American history. “The Post” has an outstanding cast consisting of Tom Hanks as Ben Bradlee, Meryl Streep as Katherine Graham and several other A-List actors.
Daniel Ellsberg (Matthew Rhys) sets the movie in action by printing copies of the Pentagon Papers, a study of the progress of the Vietnam War that was prepared by the Department of Defense. As a military analyst, Ellsberg must choose between doing the right thing and paying the price or turning a blind eye on not only himself but the American people. Ellsberg consequently chooses to leak the papers to “The New York Times” and “The Washington Post,” starting an uproar of the American public.
Bradlee, Executive Editor of the Washington Post, pushes for Graham, the publisher and owner of the paper, to allow him to publish the Pentagon Papers. Graham is wanting to turn “The Washington Post” into a public paper, so she must decide whether she wants to publish more of the Pentagon Papers and risk censure of “The Washington Post,” jeopardizing the success of her newspaper or fight for their right to freedom of the press.
“The Post” shows her internal struggle to be assertive and confident in her own power and knowledge while battling a room full of men in suits. As a woman of that era, Graham was often disregarded as simply a housewife trying to play a role in her husband’s corporate job. Many men who were on the board thought of her as inferior to her deceased husband, who originally ran the newspaper.
Streep does an excellent job of executing the difficulties of being a woman in power. For her performance, Streep is nominated to win an Oscar. “The Post” is nominated for Best Picture in the Academy Awards. Audiences can appreciate that “The Post” brings to light themes concerning women in the workplace, freedom of the press and the notion that taking a stand to do what is right is easier said than done.
The release of “The Post” coincides perfectly with the times. In today’s world, social media is easily accessible; and with the news covering all things under the sun, the movie highlighted a journalistic turning point. “The Washington Post” set a precedent by fulfilling their duty to let Americans know the truth. This “docudrama” is a great gateway to learning more about history while enjoying a quality performance by prominent and skilled actors. “The Post” is a perfect mix of thrilling, informative and insightful.