The Post: A Treatise on the Free Press and Women in Power

Last night I went to go see The Post with a good friend of mine, and I can honestly say I was not disappointed.

The Post is an engaging and timely political thriller about Katharine Graham’s decision to publish the Pentagon Papers despite the Nixon administration’s lawsuit against the Washington Post’s national rival, the New York Times.

It manages to capture the essence of being a working woman in the modern world in addition the the period’s particular brand of sexism, though some critics may call out the utter lack of diversity in the film as a detriment. Meryl Streep owns the role of Katharine, and her on-screen presence throughout the film electrifies every scene she appears in.

The tense moments prior to the major plot decision are particularly well executed. The dynamic camera work (where the camera moves with the characters and swings through each shot) was a pleasure to watch. Open and closed doors provided a visual representation of theme throughout the film, as every decision posed a risk to Katharine and her business.

Even as the men surrounding her tried to make it about them, particularly her head editor and legal advisors, by the end she finally asserts herself and shows her employees that it was her bravery that ultimately mattered. In many of the advisory shots, the men hovered over her, pressuring her, and toward the climax, when she stands and asserts herself, I found myself suppressing the urge to cheer in the theater.

It’s a niche film for sure, but a timely one given the Trump administration’s recent admonishments of the press. The last lines in the film, read from the Supreme Court decision back then, hold particularly true now:

“The press was to serve the governed, not the governors. The Government’s power to censor the press was abolished so that the press would remain forever free to censure the Government. The press was protected so that it could bare the secrets of government and inform the people. Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government.” – Justice Hugo Black

I’d give it an 8/10. Would definitely see it again.