“… a tremendous experience that didn’t let me down one bit.”
The Post is the new Steven Spielberg film that follows The Washington Post, as well as a few other papers, as they struggle with freedoms of the press when some government documents get revealed to them that outline the wrongdoings in the Vietnam War. The film specifically follows Kay Graham, the publisher of The Washington Post at the time, as she is forced to come to terms with how the business world sees her and change that perception.
I feel that it would be easiest for me to start with the story, so let’s jump into it. I found The Post to be kind of slow at the beginning, but it was never boring. I say that it was slow only becasue I knew where the story was going (mainly becasue of the trailers), and it took a while to get there. That being said, once the movie actually found its stride with the whole ‘government documents’ thing it really took off. What was a beautiful character-focused drama became a wonderful thriller that did a great job of plucking you from the movie theatre seat and placing you right in the middle of the action. Honestly the only thing I didn’t like about the story of The Post was the very end, when Spielberg decided to spring a cliffhanger on the audience even though The Post is based on a true story. That felt extremely out of place for me.
Now as far as the performances go I loved every performance save for one. I’m aware that The Post is full of characters that are based on real people so my gripe might not have much footing, but I found Meryl Streep’s portrayal of Kay Graham to be insufferable. Like I said I don’t know anything about the real Kay Graham, but in the film she is just so frustrating to watch. She has absolutely no backbone, she refuses to stand up for anything, and she is constantly floating in the background of every scene letting other people make decisions for her. I understand that this was supposed to be a commentary of the times, more specifically how women were seen in a business environment, but I don’t think these guys disliked her becasue she was a woman, I think they just realized what a terrible leader she was. I felt that Streep played into this ‘babe in the woods’ act a little too hard, and it was almost enough for me to rip my hair out whenever she was onscreen. That being said, I did like it when she eventually develops a spine towards the end of the movie, but by that point the performance was unsalvageable. As far as all of the other performances go I loved them. I felt that everyone else did a good job of not only capturing the mannerisms of the time, but also providing immersive performances.
As far as the direction in the film goes, I absolutely adored what I saw. Spielberg in The Post refused to keep the camera stationary which made the entire world feel alive. The way that the audience would float through every scene as the world passed by around them was stunning to me, and it always kept me visually occupied. I also enjoyed how he made certain backdrops, specifically the news room, feel so alive with movement and noise from extras. This isn’t a new technique, but it is one that I appreciated nonetheless. I did have one of my friends say that she didn’t like Spielberg’s directing in The Post becasue everything looked perfect to the point of it looking animated, and I will say that I get that to an extent. Every once in a while I would get a Polar Express vibe, but it was not enough to sour me on the rest of the experience. And I will also quickly talk about the music and how beautiful it was. Despite one song being very close to Christmas music, I found the score in The Post to be wonderful not only in itself but also with how it complemented what we were seeing onscreen.
Overall The Post was a tremendous experience that didn’t let me down one bit. Though the story was a a little slow to start, once it picks up it becomes exactly what I wanted. The performances were great (save for one), the direction was superb, and the score was amazing.
I give The Post an A