The Post is directed by Steven Spielberg, starring Hollywood heavyweights Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep. The film is of course based on a true story all to do with a cover up which spanned four U.S. presidents and ended up forcing The Washington Post to engage in an unprecedented battle between the press and the government. Perhaps even more incredible was that this was accomplished by a female newspaper publisher, the first the country had ever seen! So essentially you have a film which tackles several different key issues, but the absurdity of censorship over the country’s press is what takes centre stage.
It’s not exactly a subject we haven’t seen dealt with before in the movies with films like All The President’s Men, Frost/Nixon and more recently Spotlight. So really you’d expect this to have some kind of edge over the previously mentioned films, but if it did, then it certainly wasn’t evident to me. The film does a spectacular job of telling the story carefully and accurately, but perhaps it concerns itself with accuracy a little too much… By the end of it all, I felt as though I’d just sat through a history lesson rather than a movie, because of how procedural it all was. There was nothing in there which made me feel entertained, there was nothing in there to make me feel anything for that matter.
Now with 2015’s Spotlight, writers Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer did a wonderful job of telling this story in the most respectful way possible but also taking the time to make the emotion of it all sink in. For that reason, I would say it turns out to be a far more memorable and far more powerful film than The Post. It’s not a bad film by any means, I wouldn’t for a minute say I disliked it. It’s just that when you take a moment to look at all the talented individuals involved in the making of this film, you can’t help but feel somewhat let down by the finished product.
The last film we had from Spielberg was 2016’s The BFG, which personally I really enjoyed, but I do know that was one which seemed to split opinion. The Post is a probably a lot closer to what you’d expect to see from him traditionally, but his projects have been a little all over the place in recent years. Considering this is the man who brought us the blockbuster with Jaws, has it just come down to a matter of peaking too early and not knowing which direction to go in next? Am I wrong to say that? Possibly, but even legends like Spielberg can lose their way. Just believe me when I say that nobody wants me to be wrong more than me. 7/10