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The Post Movie Review

Katharine Graham, Chairman of the Washington Post poses with her son publisher Donald Graham, left, and Ben Bradlee, executive editor of the post, in her office in New York City on Wednesday, May 8, 1991.  (AP Photo/Dennis Cook)

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Katharine Graham, Chairman of the Washington Post poses with her son publisher Donald Graham, left, and Ben Bradlee, executive editor of the post, in her office in New York City on Wednesday, May 8, 1991. (AP Photo/Dennis Cook)

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From the first TV trailer I saw, The Post caught my eye as a hit. Featuring an all-star cast, it covered a controversial yet important moment in American history – the obtainment of the Pentagon Papers. While mixing humor with action, The Post gives justice to the situation that shaped American history forever.

The movie starts out with a few scenes of the Vietnam War, with a large mass of soldiers in and out of combat. The State Department military analyst, Daniel Ellsberg, accompanies the troops in an attempt to understand the procedures of the war. After hearing some disturbing things relating to the US’s state in the war, he takes it upon himself to steal the Pentagon Papers – a large number of classified documents that exposes the true government involvement in the war. Fast forwarding a few years, the plot focuses on the various staff members of the Washington Post. The two major characters – Katherine Graham and Ben Bradlee – are shown to have a close relationship, as Katherine is the paper’s publisher and Ben is the editor in chief. Their main competition, The New York Times, receives the Pentagon Papers, but is forbidden by the government from publishing them. Soon after, the Washington Post gets hold of the papers, and it is up to Katherine on whether they publish them or not.

Plot – 4.5/5

The reason why this movie caught my attention was because I’m kind of a history buff, so my disclaimer is that you shouldn’t see this movie if you aren’t passionate about history. I found the start of the movie a bit rushed, but the scenes were crucial to plot development. There was a sense of urgency when the papers were being stolen, shown by the shaky, hand-held camera angles. After the flash forward, the pace quickly decreased so the viewer could get to know the staff members before the real action began. I felt that there was a little too much time spent on the character’s lives, some of the information wasn’t necessary to the viewer. Katherine is shown to be a likable character, although a bit jumpy at times. It’s almost as though she wants to be independent, but since she’s the only woman on the board, none of the men take her ideas seriously. It’s clearly frustrating for her to have her opinions being constantly shot down. Meanwhile, Ben is in the opposite position. He has all the glory and the credit for being the paper’s powerhouse. When the Pentagon Papers are finally obtained, the movie becomes a fast-paced race against the clock, keeping you on the edge at whether they will publish the papers or not. Since this is based on real life events, most people remember from history class that the papers are published, but the suspense is still there. Katherine really savors her moment, knowing that it’s 100% her choice to publish and that no man can take the glory of the moment away from her. Although the ending is written in the history books, literally, I won’t spoil the way the events are presented. It’s too humorous to miss.

Cast – 5/5

Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Sarah Paulson, Bob Odenkirk, Tracy Letts, Bradley Whitford, Bruce Greenwood, Matthew Rhys, and Alison Brie.

The film features an all-star cast, Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks being the best. Meryl Streep was the perfect person to play Katherine Graham, because of her ability to be humble while aware of her own power. Tom Hanks was almost unrecognizable, but his ability to conform to his character allows him to play almost anyone. My favorite minor character was actually the person who played Nixon, despite the movie never showing anything but his back. Real audios of Nixon speaking are used, so it gives the allusion that the person on the screen is actually sounds exactly like Nixon.

Overall – 9.5/10

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