Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks publish history in 'The Post'

Expand                      The Post

Expand The Post

It's late in the film. As lawyers, financiers, family members and government employees weigh in on what Graham should do, Spielberg has effectively heightened interest in the matter so that it makes the publisher's final decision have the impact it deserves.

"The Post" is based on true events that occurred in 1971 - the Pentagon Papers scandal regarding US involvement in the Vietnam War. "They knew we couldn't win", Ellsberg says here, "and still sent boys to die". Any problems along the way could doom the offering as well as the newspaper itself if a court ruled against it. But a great performer can temporarily make you forget a true story's resolution by burrowing into a character's inner struggles. Yes, that would be prudent, she says. Hanks at times truly embodies Bradlee; you can see it in his gestures or in a grumpy pose; you can hear it in the occasional gruff speech Hanks emits. But the way Spielberg does it, it's a rousing valentine to a distinct period in the journalism industry. Stunningly relevant in a world populated by attacks on the free press with shouts of fake news, The Post and its ideals of 1971 are certainly not out of place in 2017.

"The Post" has a lot going for it, alongside a certain amount of hokum. As usual, old-hand Spielberg is in total control and delivered a masterfully crafted movie in the vein of masterpieces like 'All the President's Men, ' 'Good Night and Good Luck, ' or 'Spotlight.' He also profits from a very lively script; writers Liz Hannah and Josh Singer took a rather dry topic and turned it into a suspenseful thriller despite the historic events being well-known.

Hanks laughs about how Streep didn't know that Spielberg doesn't rehearse. The Nixon administration sought an injunction against the publication of the Pentagon Papers as a threat to national security, yet as the title of The Post suggests, the focus here isn't on the Times, but on the Washington paper dealing with complex issues at the same time.

While working at the Pentagon, Daniel Ellsberg discovers a cover-up concerning the war in Vietnam that spanned four US presidents.

Padmaavat: Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh BAN the film!
Despite Karni Sena threatening to stall theatres screening Padmavat , UP government has given a green signal to the film so far. Even after all this alleged harassment, Padmavat has been banned in Gujarat, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.

In this image released by 20th Century Fox, Tom Hanks portrays Ben Bradlee in a scene from "The Post". Not much has changed, you think, perhaps world over, which is what makes Steven Spielberg's film inescapably timely and pertinent.

Accelerating the usual production schedule, Spielberg called up Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks and immediately enlisted them to play the parts of Graham and Bradlee.

Because the Times and reporter Neil Sheehan had broken the story, the Post was playing catch-up. As the Post battles to preserve First Amendment freedoms, he and Graham must also confront how their cozy relationships with politicians-the Kennedys, LBJ, and Robert McNamara-led them to unwittingly turn blind eyes toward the deceptions that led to the Vietnam War. Some of the bits are pure screenwriting invention (it's not a documentary, in other words), such as Bradlee sending an intern to NY on an intel-gathering mission to find out what the Times is working on. The writing becomes extra-speechy, with cries of "The legacy of the company's at stake!"

In this day when women are calling for more equality in the workplace, there's a scene near the film's end that those ready for more of that will find emotionally riveting. Leaker Daniel Ellsburg covertly printed thousands of pages of Vietnam War files from the Rand Corporation, files that showed how the United States government systematically lied to Congress and to the public about its activities in Southeast Asia, including the broad and merciless bombing of Laos and Cambodia, which was at that time unreported in the mainstream.

Latest News