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Review: “The Post” Was Phenomenal

Adam Aleksic, Editor-in-Chief

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Before and throughout the Vietnam War, every President from Truman to Nixon was deeply involved in Southeast Asia, more than they would have the public believe. Classified excursions into Laos and Cambodia, prolonged involvement to avoid a “defeat”, and lies to both Congress and the American people were just a few of the crimes committed, and written about in a classified dossier later called The Pentagon Papers. This dossier was stolen, photocopied, and published in the New York Times in 1971. Outraged, the Nixon administration threatened to take them to court for leaking state secrets- but as The Washington Post continued the work the Times began, that became a reality, resulting in a Supreme Court showdown between secrecy and the First Amendment. Sounds like a good movie to watch, right?

Well, now it is one! Directed by Steven Spielberg and acted by big names such as Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep, The Post revolves more closely around the Washington Post’s involvement in the kerfuffle. An excellent historical piece, this will surely prove to be one of the better movies of 2018.

As with any Spielberg movie, this film perfectly captures what it was aiming for: a historical drama that grips the viewer by providing a good story, excellent camerawork, insights into something new, and just enough levity to keep someone’s attention. It’s a difficult balance to do, but tread perfectly, the result was superb.

Of course, Hanks and Streep were also fantastic. Streep filled her role perfectly like she always does, as a slightly timid publisher who steps into the role of printing out sensational news, while coping with both personal and economic issues. Everything was completely genuine and her performance was fabulous. Tom Hanks also became an editor struggling to make The Washington Post more than a small family paper and affirming a commitment to the First Amendment. Working together for the first time in a major picture, Hanks and Streep displayed amazing chemistry. We should get more movies like this.

Music, of course, was excellent, having been provided by John Williams, the greatest composer in all Hollywood and a longtime peer of Spielberg. When it needs to be dramatic, it has you on the edge of your seat, and when it needs to be somber, it has you sinking down into it.

There seems to have been a lot of political commentary in the movie, and parallels drawn today. It’s not a far stretch to see the theme of a president combating the free press- something that will draw in liberals and alienate conservatives. The picture also emphasizes gender inequality and even briefly touches on suicide, so be aware that you’re going in for a political experience.

The fact that this is all a real story really makes the movie resonate, as well as all the insights provided into the printing industries and presidential dishonesty. I came away learning several new things, and you will too, if you choose to watch this.

And you definitely should! Many reviews have listed The Post as a potential award-winner, it’s at 88% on Rotten Tomatoes, and it’s estimated that it will pull in over $18 million in box office revenue for the Martin Luther King Weekend. Plus, I give it my full recommendation; it really is a great movie!

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