The Post. Film Review.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *

Cast: Meryl Steep, Tom Hanks, Sarah Poulson, Bob Odenkirk, Tracy Letts, Bradley Whitford, Bruce Greenwood, Matthew Rhys, Alison Brie, Carrie Coon, Jesse Plemons, David Cross, Zach Woods, John Rue, Rick Holmes, Michael Stulbarg, Philip Casnoff, Jessie Mueller, Deborah Green, David Aaron Baker, Dan Bucatinsky, Davis Costabile, Johanna Day.

If only there journalism that could be relied upon today to not go down the route of the sensationalist or be funded by clickbait, that was able to hunt down a President, take a Prime Minister to task. If only there were journalists consistent enough and not in the thrall of pay check to pay check existence to whom made sure that those who preach from a high pedestal are held to account for every words that they say. If only they had the reach of anger and indignation that social media has maintained, but also with the ability to sift out the nonsense and the lies, the thought driven by loose opinion; if only we had the chance to learn from those who could drive Presidents to examine their conscious every now and again.

Gone are the days it seems that any newspaper can be held up as a paragon of virtue, even if there really was a golden age of reporting, but at least in some quarters the news that was fit to print was not governed by gossip and advertising but with the sheer honesty of breaking those above and holding them out to be whipped when caught misleading the public; such is the point of The Post and its near sacrifice of its Publisher Kay Graham, its Editor Ben Bradlee and its journalists, including Ben Bagdikian and their source for the story of how Presidents had lied to the American People about the war in Vietnam, Daniel Ellsberg.

Gone, but certainly not forgotten, gone but still able to raise the hairs on the back when thought of; gone but still able to resurface occasionally, just with a different face and with an agenda that is not always wholesome. Gone but loved as The Post shows, a film in which the story is known to some but to others will come as a shock that there was at one time integrity amongst the senior positions, and certainly for Kay Graham who had to decide between running the story and the possible loss of investment, integrity to the story at hand, there could be no backing down.

In Bob Odenkirk as Ben Bagdikian, Meryl Streep as Ms. Graham and Tom Hanks as Editor Ben Bradlee, The Post is in safe hands, it cruises and wanes like any newspaper circulation but the message that comes to mind is one that is neatly summed up by television news legend Walter Cronkite when relying the news of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, “…Only history can write the importance of this day; were these dark days the harbringers of even blacker ones to come, or like the black before the dawn shall they lead to some still as yet indiscernible sunrise of understanding among men, that violent words, no matter what their origin or motivation, can lead only to violent deeds.”  Whatever the cost the free press must be also held to scrutiny by the public, but they must also be able to take down Presidents and Prime Ministers when the deed must be done.

Ian D. Hall