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The Post is essential viewing in a post-truth age, says Rashid Irani

Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks play the publisher and journalist who defied a dishonest government to tell the truth about the Vietnam War.

movie reviews Updated: Jan 11, 2018 15:16 IST
Rashid Irani
Rashid Irani
Hindustan Times
Tom Hanks,Meryl Streep,Steven Spielberg
Streep is subtle to mesmerising effect; Hanks is strong and self-assured. Steven Spielberg’s casting picks are stellar, down to every minor character.
  • Direction: Steven Spielberg
  • Actors: Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks
  • Rating: 4 / 5

In this fact-based political drama, Steven Spielberg zeroes in on events that led to the publication, in 1971, of classified documents detailing the US government’s mishandling of their involvement in the Vietnam War.

The two key players in the newsroom-set narrative are the owner and the executive editor of The Washington Post.

The former (Meryl Streep) was the first female publisher of a major American newspaper. The latter (Tom Hanks) was one of that era’s most astute journalists.

Taking a combative stand for the freedom and integrity of the press, the duo put their reputations and careers on the line when they refused to yield to the arm-twisting of the political establishment.

The most compelling aspect of the film is its contemporary relevance in an age of ‘fake news’ and ‘alternative facts’.

Spielberg’s casting choices, down to the minor characters, are spot-on. The redoubtable Streep underplays her role to mesmerising effect. Displaying characteristic strength of spirit, Tom Hanks is equally assured.

One of the few missteps is a sappy scene featuring the publisher and her grown-up daughter.

An evenhanded snapshot of the fractious relationship between a deceitful government and committed journalists, The Post is essential viewing.

First Published: Jan 11, 2018 15:16 IST