Based on a true story that created an uproar in the nation, The Post is centered on the publication of the leaked, 7,000-page, highly classified Pentagon Papers to reveal the government’s deception on the US’s participation in the Vietnam War since the Truman Administration.
Played by Meryl Streep, distinguished publisher Katharine Graham decides to maintain the publication of the Pentagon Papers with the assistance of editor Ben Bradlee (played by Tom Hanks) in The Washington Post in 1971. The decision was made under the pressure of the recent legal precedent set by The New York Times case–which resulted in Times’ provisional censorship on coverages of the Pentagon Papers–and the discrimination of her male executive board.
From vintage furniture to old-fashioned buses to the ‘70s fashion, as well as the incorporation of actual voice recordings of President Nixon, the production team’s attentiveness to the ‘70s America setting captures the heart of the Generation X by creating a nostalgic feeling. The intense atmosphere in the newsroom with the endless rings of telegrams, the distinct sound of the typewriter, and the smoke-filled office takes the audience back in time. In spite of the movie’s depiction of a prominent historic moment, the lack of background context may bring confusion to audience members who may be unaware of the event.
While the main themes range from journalism to business, the most memorable is the execution of the subtle and natural development of feminism in the workforce in just a two hour movie. A notable scene is when Graham confronts her executive authority over the company despite being limited by her male board.
However, the movie’s central focus on the business aspect of the event falls out of the expectation of the typical moral focus of a journalism movie, giving it a more realistic push. As Graham’s stance on the publication became clearer, the pressure of losing the uprising company becomes more evident.
Overall, The Post is a sensational film that is worth sharing among those who enjoy a business twist in a historical journalism film.