Arts and Entertainment

Movie Review: “The Post” Delivers

By Olivia Fries-Farr ’19

The First Amendment of the United States Constitution

Freedom of Religion, Speech, Press, Assembly, and Petition

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government from a redress of grievance.”

For more information please visit: https://www.heritage.org/constitution/#!/

The First Amendment is important to our country because it is necessary for the citizens to know the truth about what is really happening in the world and to also be able to express freely about their beliefs and support related causes. Propaganda, misleading information, covering up facts and lying to the public are wrong.  However, cover-ups have been going on since the beginning of this country and that is why the Constitution was written.  Even so, the government thinks that some confidential information is required to be kept from the public for protection.

“The Post” was directed by Steven Spielberg, written by Liz Hannah and Josh Singer, and stars Meryl Streep as Kay Graham and Tom Hanks as Ben Bradlee. The film involves a true government cover-up that should never have been kept from the tax-paying citizens of the United States.  Graham is the owner and Bradlee is the Editor-in-Chief of The Washington Post.  The film is set in the early 1970s and chronicles Daniel Ellsberg, played by Matthew Rhys, uncovering secret government documents known as the Pentagon Papers. These documents, concealed by Presidents over four terms in office, contained the truth about the dismal reality of the Vietnam War.  When Ellsberg took the documents and gave them to the The New York Times to run, the confidential Pentagon Papers caused the government to take a stand against the newspaper.  The Washington Post got a hold of more Pentagon Papers and ran a story during the time The New York Times was closed down by government policy stating the information should not be made public.   

It is not easy to make an original movie out of a true story when the facts have been published and analyzed by the government, citizens and experts.  The facts may be interpreted in many different ways but what remains should be the truth that explains the facts clearly and accurately.  “The Post” gives a step by step account of the facts that unfolded in this situation and did not sensationalize or over dramatize a very difficult time during the Vietnam War.  

Thomas stood up for the publishing community and the citizens of the United States even when The Washington Post was in a crucial financial time of change because it was going public on the stock exchange.  She set an example as a strong woman and a business owner and successfully represented the First Amendment and the rights of the people.

The film’s overall production and acting are good.  The early 70s-style costumes, sets, and locations were great.  All the old style newspaper printing press scenes were amazing.  Overall, the film was well made.  I saw this movie with my parents who are avid film buffs and in the entertainment business.  They both commented several times on how much the film reminded them of another journalism film, “All The President’s Men.”  My mom said that some of the scenes even looked like they were shot in the same locations, using the same camera angles, techniques and set decoration.  Perhaps the filming aspects seemed similar because these styles were typical of the 70s.

 

I give this movie an 8 out of 10 on The Bamboo Scale.

Official trailer: https://youtu.be/nrXlY6gzTTM

 

Favorite Quotes:

Ben Bradlee: If we don’t hold them accountable, who will?
Kay Graham: We can’t hold them accountable if we don’t have a newspaper.

Ben Bradlee: So, can I ask you a hypothetical question?
Kay Graham: Oh, dear, I don’t like hypothetical questions.
Ben Bradlee: Well, I don’t think you’re going to like the real one either.
Kay Graham: Do you have the papers?
Ben Bradlee: Not yet

Flight Attendant: It must be precious cargo.
Ben Bagdikian: It’s just… government secrets.

 

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