The Post Review

“If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.”

These where the words of George Augustine Washington, a president so beloved that after his second term, the crowds supplicated for a third.  He was succeeded 36 terms later by a man whose words where ‘When the president does it, it means that it is not illegal‘. Richard Milhous Nixon was a weed in the garden of democracy, and The Post is about those who decided it was about time to uproot him from there.

Unlike All The President’s Men by Alan Pakula (a masterpiece with which unfair comparisons are bound to crop up, thematically and artistically), Spielberg’s vision doesn’t scrutinize the method of the investigation. There is no cross checking of directories or following up on those allocation of funds (which always seem to end up in shell companies by the way) or anything remotely of that sort. What it does is play itself out like a morality play, from which we learn how journalists should behave.

The plot seemingly runs on two parallels for most of the run time, resulting both in the jarring effect the first half exudes and the power the second half emanates. One of them circles around Ben Bradlee, the executive editor of Washington Post whose journalistic sagacity and an anomalous active interest in the affairs of other newspapers has lead him to cognize that something extremely pivotal is set to materialize in the political scenario, something that may just be the turnaround for the shabby state of Washington Post at that time if they happen to get their hands on it. The second plot thread follows Kay Graham, the owner of Washington Post who has enough troubles on her mind even without the Pentagon papers, since the company is going public and the shareholders seem to have a wavered confidence in her capabilities to lead it. Making the affairs further complex is that Kay has personal relations with the parties whose lives and careers will be rocked beyond repairs if the papers go into print. And in the midst of all this bedlam, the truth awaits patiently to be shone light upon.

The quandaries I had with the movie are quite sparse, yet it would be helpful to jot them right here, considering my inherent vice to dabble in the concluding paragraphs to exhibit my own personal views and in the way forgetting to play the role of a ‘critic’. The very first of them (and seemingly, the last of them) is a non harmonious flow of affairs that commences with the two story lines running on different platitudes, with almost nothing expect the similar crop of faces creating a link between the two. Does it accentuate the the climax you may ask, and yes will I say, but in my book, the ends do not justify the means when it comes to movies at least and a natural proclivity for the Pentagon papers rather than the stockholders’ meetings renders the Graham thread insipid in some parts.

What it does right is that it establishes character. We are acclimatized to their demeanor and their fears so succinctly, that we chalk up our own character arcs in our minds on how they will respond to a certain situation. And herein Spielberg plays a masterstroke :- he lets us believe we are right about them. Streep, giving one of her greatest performances on film, seems suffocated by her societal shackles which delude her from working for the interests of her enterprise, and Hanks’ plays the newspaper man with such finesse that it is hard to suspect whether all he cares about is something that sells or the hard hitting truth. We know who these people are, and that is where in the final 30 minutes when things start going haywire, we realize we couldn’t have known less about them.

What it does right is that it establishes the stage perfectly for what facet of the story it wanted to explore. By maintaining a duly curb on the investigation process, the wayward shift from the newsroom to the nation wide debate that ensues about freedom of press seems like a naturalistic transition rather than capitalizing on the present skewed political scenario from where it gleans its relevance from.

Dear reader, truth does set us free, but first it pisses us off. The Post is about a select few who were pissed, and wanted others to be as well. The scenes where the journalists huddle in silence, or when the printing machines hum to life to prepare the ‘first rough drafts of history’ as the movie puts it or where the Watergate fiasco comes to life happen to be the most powerful. It is because what we are seeing is the truth coming to life, and as human beings, it resonates with the conscience of one and all. From the facade of lies that liars like Nixon weave to delude is, it is these journalists who save us from time to time, not so much by the rectitude of Grahams as by the dogged curiosity of Bens. Those who view The Post just as a statement on the current shabby affairs of politics is missing the cohesive whole. Sure, it asks us, have all the men who succeeded George Washington to that chair been half-worthy of it ? But it also subtly asks, would you be so invigorated if the film playing was a feed from any newsroom of today ?

THANKS FOR READING. IF YOU HAVE LIKED/HAVE DIFFERENT VIEWS / HAVE ANY DOUBTS, PLEASE SHARE. I WILL RESPOND TO IT AS SOON AS I CAN. AND PLEASE SUBSCRIBE FOR MORE. YOU CAN FOLLOW ME ON MY FACEBOOK PAGE TOO https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100011549616628YOU CAN ALSO E-MAIL ME ON castlebang786@gmail.com OR favebook2011@rediffmail.com

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Copyright : All written content on this site, unless otherwise noted, has been created by the website owner. As such, the content is the property of the website owner. This content is protected by Indian and international copyright laws. If you wish to reproduce, re-post, or display any of our content on your own site please only do so if you also provide a link back to the source page on this website and properly attribute authorship. Our preference is that you seek our permission before doing so. If you see anything on this website that has not been properly attributed to its originator please contact me. In response, I will attempt to correct the attribution of the offending material or remove and/or replace it. All material on this website is posted in accordance with the limitations set forward by the Information Technology Act, 2000. If a documented copyright owner so requests, their material will be removed from published display, although the author reserves the right to provide linkage to that material or to a source for that material. As a website devoted to discussing and reviewing movies and television I will at times, for illustrative purposes, present copyrighted material, the use of which might not always be specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available for purposes such as criticism, comment, and research. The website owner believes that this constitutes a “fair use” of any such copyrighted material because the articles published on this website are distributed for entertainment purposes

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The Manchurian Candidate Review

In the 60’s, most of the grand American movies had two types of villains – either the aliens or the Russians. The Manchurian Candidate is thankfully about the latter. It deals with a plot which oddly seemed genius and vacuous at the same time, that one part of you wants to fully immerse yourself in this thrilling tale while the other parts of you yearns to find holes in this script and finds them, only to disregard them later, for this is too much off a fun movie.

It deals with the concept of brainwashing (or dry cleaning of the mind, as it is referred to in the movie) where a trigger makes a man subject to the will of his operator. On the surface this idea does look doltish, but so does a man falling in love with his operating system. But, what makes these movies classics is the fact that everyone seems convinced of this idea. That enough evidence is put forth so as to make it believable.

The Manchurian Candidate has the structure of a Hitchcockian movie, thronged with twists and beautiful women, and to no surprise considering how obtrusive the novel from which it was adapted was, in terms of sensuality. To be honest, it seems like the only fallacy in this movie, and a very major one considering how large an influence it has on the movie, that none of the romances here are chalked up, particularly the one concerning Janet Leigh.

Yet, if we look beyond that, this is a really intelligent movie, in its own way, a kind of a science-fiction. There is a cracker of a concept here, and the makers do construct a plot which does make the viewer be on the edge of his seat. Considering the age in which the movie was made, there is exceptional professionalism maintained in preventing this movie from going over-the-top.

In this era, I do not think the concept and treatment of The Manchurian Candidate holds up much, but that clearly did not deter Hollywood from coming up with a needless remake, however, by considering the time when it hit the screens, it affirms that it was an explosive movie which clearly took sides, instead of the movies nowadays which are like pups wanting to be petted by everyone. The Manchurian Candidate is hell of a fun movie. Thrilling, yes, but not a great one. However, I wouldn’t mind recommending it to anyone who cares.

RATING : 7.8 / 10

THANKS FOR READING. IF YOU HAVE LIKED/HAVE DIFFERENT VIEWS / HAVE ANY  DOUBTS, PLEASE SHARE. I WILL RESPOND TO IT AS SOON AS I CAN. AND PLEASE SUBSCRIBE FOR MORE. YOU CAN FOLLOW ME ON MY FACEBOOK PAGE TOO https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100011549616628 YOU CAN ALSO E-MAIL ME ON castlebang786@gmail.com OR favebook2011@rediffmail.com

Photo Rights : Google Images, Wikipedia

Copyright : All written content on this site, unless otherwise noted, has been created by the website owner. As such, the content is the property of the website owner. This content is protected by Indian and international copyright laws. If you wish to reproduce, re-post, or display any of our content on your own site please only do so if you also provide a link back to the source page on this website and properly attribute authorship. Our preference is that you seek our permission before doing so. If you see anything on this website that has not been properly attributed to its originator please contact me. In response, I will attempt to correct the attribution of the offending material or remove and/or replace it. All material on this website is posted in accordance with the limitations set forward by the Information Technology Act, 2000. If a documented copyright owner so requests, their material will be removed from published display, although the author reserves the right to provide linkage to that material or to a source for that material. As a website devoted to discussing and reviewing movies and television I will at times, for illustrative purposes, present copyrighted material, the use of which might not always be specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available  for purposes such as criticism, comment, and research. The website owner believes that this constitutes a “fair use” of any such copyrighted material because the articles published on this website are distributed for entertainment purposes.