‘The Post’ lacks depth and candid perspective

Photo by 20th Century Fox
Documentation of the Pentagon Papers revealing the unscrupulousness of the Vietnam War, Steven Spielberg tackles overwhelming themes of feminism, morality and holding government in contempt.

“The Post” is everything that we have seen in Steven Spielberg’s previous works, however the film lacks a consistent theme.

This film depicts when New York Times first got ahold of the Pentagon Papers during the Vietnam War, assessments that would reveal an entire lineage of presidents that knew the war was a lost cause.

The Washington Post, a small local newspaper, led by publisher Katherine Graham (Meryl Streep) and editor-in-chief Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks), would get ahold of the same documents and be faced with the difficult choice to publish them or not.

Spielberg attempts to integrate a feminist theme into the film, by showing that Graham, publisher by inheritance and not choice, found empowerment through her decision to publish the Pentagon Papers at the risk of going to jail.

However, the weaknesses in this argument can be found through Spielberg’s determination to stick to historical fact. Instead of stretching how Graham used her executive power elsewhere, he advertised the fact that her only real contribution to releasing the Pentagon Papers was saying the word. It was unclear whether she was motivated by upholding freedom of the press, or she was simply rebelling against her oppressive, but knowledgeable board.

In the very scenes where Graham expresses how oppressed she feels as a woman in a man’s world, the dialogue is lengthy and unnatural. Spielberg tried to dive into the female perspective, but failed because he is not a female director.

Through this failed theme, he also aims to present the importance of freedom of the press, which although displayed abundantly, is overshadowed by the abrupt ending right after the Supreme Court ruling denounced barring the press with the Espionage Act.

Another significant theme that was expected about such an obscure war as Vietnam, was the morality of the politics being executed at the time.

With the opening scene of the Vietnamese war zone, that was all too similar to “Saving Private Ryan,” the audience only gets a glimpse at the lives being put in jeopardy and ultimately served as the purpose for the Pentagon Papers being released in the first place.

To add insult to injury, the veteran cast did little to improve the realism of the film. Streep and Hanks had a very awkward dynamic that fails to mirror Graham and Bradlee’s real-life relationship. This inaccuracy is shown in Spielberg creating a power balance between the two characters in the movie, when in actuality, Bradlee clearly had more authority than Graham. With its preachy morals and agonizing two-hour run time, “The Post” is nothing more than a typical Spielberg movie.

The glowing highlights from the Blacklight Rally/Photo Gallery

The HHS Bhangra team.

The new girls hip hop group, known as Alpha Mare, and senior Hamza Jabbar performed at the Blacklight Rally Dec. 1. Krew and HHS Bhangra also performed their dance routines as a part of the annual culmination of the winter spirit week.

Senior IndoPak co-presidents Pranali Kasturi and Nikhil Kulkarni said that traditions that have been practiced for a long time are incorporated into their dance performances.

“We do something a little different for the blacklight rally instead of the actual IndoPak show because it’s a lot shorter,” Kasturi said.

Alongside the cultural dance groups, Cheer team, the HHS drumline and the Equestriettes also performed at the rally, taking advantage of the blacklight by coordinating their outfits.

Senior and Equestriette officer Jocelyn Chen said the team used one of their competition routines that they will be competing with in the spring for this year’s rally.

“In the Blacklight rally, we normally focus a little more on the dancing and less on the theme compared to rallies like Homecoming, where we pick the songs based on the different class themes,” Chen said.

Preparations for the Blacklight rally start right after the Homecoming rally ends.

ASB Activities Director Sara Frausto said that she tries to give as many opportunities as possible and have a variety of grades participate through emceeing and performing.

“This was probably our largest number of people we had for emcees so it was really tough to try and cut some of them out. A lot of them were returners, but a lot of them were new as well,” Frausto said.

Preparing for rallies includes scriptwriting, planning auditions and collecting music.

“Lior (Rally Commissioner) and I usually both write the script together, but sometimes one of us is busy, and so the other Rally Commissioner steps in to write the script,” Rally Commissioner Lanie Schwartz said.

Frausto said that while some aspects of the rally are set, Rally Commissioners take the lead on deciding themes and trying to make it different from past years.

“The blacklight rally is heavily performer-based because it is in the dark, and we focus on the Canned Food Drive,” Frausto said.

During the annual Students vs. Staff basketball game, students won with a score of 10 to 2.

Finally, the winners of the Canned Food Drive were announced, crowning AP literature teacher Liz Williams with the trophies for Most Generous Class and Most Generous Student to her classroom.