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Review: The Post

The Post tells the story of the tension between the Nixon administration in the 1970s and the press. The Washington Post is getting set to go on the Stock Exchange. Owner Kay Graham (Meryl Streep) is worried that her family business will come under the control of bankers and the family will relinquish its rights to the newspaper. She is a family woman who has owned the Family business for the last decade following her Husband's Suicide. Her Editor, Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks) is also under pressure to develop the local newspaper into a national one.

The Post returns Stephen Spielberg to historical drama. He and his scriptwriters have brought a humour and a personality to what could be a long detailed driven expose.

Streep's performance is tender, strong and thoughtful. She sit on the precipice of two major decisions at the paper. To insure its survival by placing on the stock exchange and insuring it increases circulation for its new owners.

The plot is careful to explain what might be seen as a cozy relationship with the Kennedy administration and the press, juxtaposed with a cold suspicious relationship with Nixon. Nixon shows his contempt for The Washington Post by not allowing one of their reporters to attend his daughter's wedding, following an unflattering piece in The Washington Post about The First Lady, Pat Nixon.

Both Graham and Benlee are shown to have been great supporters of JFK as they both become aware of what he knew during the the escalations in Vietnam. Putting their own views to the test. Not to publish the Top Secret documents would undermine their and journalism's independence, on the other hand the wrath of Nixon and his administration also puts them at risk. Nixon has used the courts to prevent any more details of the Pentagon Papers being published in The New York Times.

The film is able to explore Graham's early tenure leading The Washington Post and its IPO in the early 1970s. Her decision to allow The Post to publish the pentagon papers even though it could be problematic for the business and her control of the business.

It shows the strain that both Graham and Benlee are put under. The top secret papers show that Nixon and his predecessor new of the futile war that was being waged by the Americans in Vietnam. Their friendships with key people in each of the administrations and the risk of them and the board going to prison if they are found to be in contempt of court.

The film is a pacey political thriller which is able to outline political allegiances and the problems faced by publishers and editors when those relationship become too close.

The film ends as the Watergate Scandal begins, a phone call is made to the police telling them that a burglary seems to be happening at the Watergate Complex, just as Security Guard Frank Willis enters the Democratic National Committee headquarters within the complex.

The Post is release nationwide on Friday, 19th January 2017.