Samantha Stirmel/Business Manager
I was really excited about seeing this movie because I thought it was finally going to make me being on the newspaper a little more glamorous. Sadly, I was wrong. From what previews and different things were released online and TV, I expected a great movie that really hit home the need for journalism and freedom of the press to help the protect the governed.
Instead, I had the enjoyment of watching a movie that looked like it was two different stories, cut up along the same timeline and put together. I could never tell exactly where the movie was going. One second, we see Meryl Streep as a struggling female in a male industry and as someone who doesn’t make any decisions. The next, we see Tom Hanks, a cigarette hanging out of his mouth, his foot propped on his desk, the hard-pressed managing editor of the paper. Two stark opposites are presented side by side throughout the entire film.
It seems like this just makes sense, since there are two different people who wrote the screenplay. The movie is a constant tug of war between these two screenwriter’s visions.
Meryl Streep’s character barely experiences any character development until the last 10 minutes of the movie, upon which she finally starts acting like the head of the company. However, there is no wind up to this, or a gradual push that she matters and is the head of the paper.
Even into her last decision for the Washington Post, she still seeks for the men in her life to validate what she is doing. Which would be fine, if it weren’t for some of the next scenes picturing her walking through a crowd of woman as if this is a feminist movement. It’s like they couldn’t figure out what they wanted to do with her character and then in the movies realistic timeline span of a few hours she suddenly turns into another person.
The concentration of the movie is on Streep and what she is doing, though all this is, is a whole bunch of dinners and parties with elite government officials of the time with her playing hostess. Small glimpses of the workings of The Washington Post are seen in between these Streep moments. I call this false advertising for the movie. Rather than focusing on what mattered in the movie, the releasing of government papers to the people, we see a difficult to follow movie that is plagued with a feminist undertone which adds nothing to the movie.
If it does nothing productive, if it shows nothing about the characters in the movie, then why is it there? I am totally for there being empowering stories about women coming up in a male industry, but it contributed nothing and frankly distracted from the rest of the important bits that were put in the movie.