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DVD Review

DVD cover

The Post


Starring: Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Sarah Paulson, Bob Odenkirk and Tracy Letts
Distributor: Entertainment One
RRP: £19.99
Certificate: 12
Release Date: 21 May 2018

In 1971, following the revelation in The New York Times that the American government had been lying about the Vietnam War for decades, The Washington Post takes the decision to also publish the news. It’s a controversial decision as the government has already served an injunction on The Times...

The Post (2017. 1 hr 51 min 04 sec) is a historical drama, directed by Steven Spielberg. The film takes place across the two weeks in which the drama unfolded.

This is an odd film, not in how it's made or the story, it's odd that the film even exists. Obviously, the themes of newspapers trying to tell the truth against a hostile government will resonate with people today, what I failed to understand was why the film tells the story of The Post.

It was The New York Times which broke the story, The Times who were being dragged in front of the Supreme Court and it was the owners and reporters of The Times which were looking at going to jail for trying to tell the truth. The Post, on the other hand was reporting news which had substantially already appeared in The Times, so why not tell that story.

Spielberg must have felt that he had a relevant story to tell and in truth he has directed another absorbing film. The action at The Post is used to look at the relationship between the papers owner, as Katharine Graham (Meryl Streep) and her gung-ho editor, Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks).

Graham is a bit of a fish out of water. Having lost both her husband and father she finds herself owner of The Post and in the middle of floating the paper on the stock market to secure its financial future. Being rich and influential she is personal friends with many of those that stand accused in the government, especially Robert McNamara (Bruce Geenwood) who commissioned the report at the centre of the leak. Her uncertainty in her new role means that she is often ignored or overruled by the alpha males surrounding her.

Bradlee is also, initially, guilty of trying to bully Graham into publishing the leaks for his own reasons. Although he comes to feel that it’s a fight over the freedom of the press, his original motivation stems from the fact that The Post invariably spends its time playing catch-up with The Times's scoops.

Speilberg captures the historical details well and his two stars put in convincing performances, in fact some of the best parts of the film are the interactions between Streep and Hanks, as Graham grows in confidence and authority, finally becoming the leader The Post needs. This is the first film in which these three have collaborated.

The film is encoded with MPEG-2, with a 16:9 aspect ratio. For audio you get the choice of DD 2.0 and 5.1, with option audio description and English subtitles.

On the extras side you have Layout: Katherine Graham, Ben Bradlee and The Washington Post (20 min, 56 sec) looks at the real historical figures behind the film and is a decent documentary. Editorial: The Cast and Characters of The Post (15 min, 16 sec) is a look at the making of the film, it’s a small fluffy look at the film with some real meat on its bones.

The Style Section: Re-Creating an Era (16 min, 19 sec) looks at how they captured the look of the film. Finally, you have, Arts and Entertainment: Music of The Post (6 min, 27 sec) looks at John Williams creating and recording the film's score.

Spoiler Alert...

On its own merits this is a worthy film, made with the obvious care from a singular cast and director. Only at the end do you understand why the film tells the story of The Post and not The Times as the film closes with the discovery of the Watergate break in, which was a major scoop for The Washington Post, so in one way this is a prequel to All the Presidents Men (1976).


Charles Packer

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