Sun | Nov 18, 2018

Superb 'The Post' places truth above all

Published:Monday | January 22, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Multiple Academy Award winners Mary Streep (right) and Tom Hanks in ‘The Post’.

For the most part, history is an unstable thing. It exists in our memories, both through individuals and collectively in society. Memory, however, very rarely can be relied upon. It is only when recorded that it can be regarded as honest, a true account of the event. In a time when news is considered fake and facts alternative, journalism is needed now more than ever.

That's the point of The Post, a movie about truth, a film which sees The Washington Post fight against the will of a government comfortable with zero accountability. It is also the film that is destined to gain interest based on three names - Spielberg. Streep. Hanks. The Holy Trinity of film-making in this movie seems almost gluttonous.

With a story so prescient and a conquering cast, The Post has its fair share of expectations behind it. It's a pleasure, then, that I found it balances its more theatrical moments with elements that feel downright ordinary. Characters talk over each other, stammer and employ all the regular imperfections we use every day. It's a winning combination of a marvellous screenplay and acting ability from every single cast member that surpasses expectation.

The film moves at lightning speed, but it never loses you. Within the first 10 minutes, The Post sets the stage for every piece at play. The conflict of the characters becomes that of the audience. Most notably is that of Katherine Graham, played by Meryl Streep. It's hard not to feel pangs of anxiety when we're treated to her point of view as she enters a room of condescending eyes in male faces.

There are few directors as revered as Steven Spielberg. Tom Hanks is among the greatest actors of his generation. No one is better than Meryl Streep. Together, they deliver a film that is nothing short of sensational. The same tension Spielberg applied with a T-Rex emerging from the shadows is granted to a telephone call.

Perhaps everything in The Post did not happen in reality. Many moments in the film simply feel like true story melodrama. As ironic as that may be for a film about journalistic integrity, the film's job is not to tell the truth. It's to inspire the audience to want to.

Rating: Greatest of all time.