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For the love of cinema and for the love of democracy do not miss The Post. There is everything rich and grand about this movie. The first is its plot. Based on the historic conflicting relationship that Washington Post shared with some presidents in the 1970s, especially Richard Nixon. The real hero and the real pulling point of this movie is its screenplay. There are great performances , a very sparingly used background music and some great one liners but not for a second does Spielberg allow any of the actor go out of the screenplay. Everything is just a part of grand entertainment printing press that Spielberg has rolled out here. The screenplay and the director , in that order, ensure that we feel every moment of the movie. The confusion of a widowed woman who is trying to rise up to her biggest challenge in life. An editor who feels the nation now has its hoped pinned on him. A bunch on investors for whom newspaper is nothing but another profit making venture. A man who feels his life can be put on the line so that young men stop dying in Vietnam all get so well balanced and placed in a screenplay which is barely two hours long. Spielberg needs to give screenplay lessons to some makers in Bollywood who make 150 odd minutes nothing movies.
A lot has been written about Meryl Streep’s performance in this one and she has lived the role of a woman who picks herself up exactly at the right time and fends off the hawks who want her to be prudent and not just. Her role has layers of a caring mother and a woman who has the legacy of her father and her husband to look up to and live up to but as she so accurately tells a hawk that she has given enough of herself to that legacy and no longer deserves a lecture and the publication is no longer a passed on property it is her property , the lady times her acting so perfect that the subtle transformation of a nice lady to a steeled cat is just not noticed. You get stumped when her claws come out.
And what if I told you that Streep’s is not the best performance in this one. Tom Hanks as the eccentric committed to media’s virtue Ben Bradlee has burned the screen down with his intensity. He is the typical lead me, follow me or get out of my way guy in this movie. The way he tells one of the investors that if The Post allows the government what it can and cannot publish then it already is dead as a newspaper is a scene of epic cinematic brilliance. The fact that Tom Hanks takes away all the scenes from Meryl Streep where she clearly has a author and director backed role speaks volumes about the actor. The scene where he cuts off Streep and says one hundred percent as an answer is one of the most telling example of who has won the battle of histrionics between the two. Go watch The Post because very rarely does Hollywood pit such gladiators like this.
The post is also a story of good old good winning over the bad. It is not about grey philosophy bullshitting. The good guys win in this one in the most dramatic manner of common citizens.
In a screenplay of less than two hours Spielberg has filled in solid impact scenes like the one where the court attendant ends up telling Streep that her brother is still in Vietnam and she wants The Post to win the legal battle is just one of such gem scenes in the movie.
For love of cinema for love or democracy or for love of just either of them. Do not miss The Post. Movies like such bring back your faith in the fact that classics can be rich, entertaining and message giving all at the same time with out being boring. Yes The Post does not drag not for a single second. After a long time I have decided to buy a DVD of a movie whenever it is out. This one qualifies for my collection. Well done Mr.Spielberg.