The friendship of the unlikely pair speaks the sad truth that we can rarely tell our friends about the inner forces that drive us through life.

THE POSTMAN

A Illusion review by Joan Ellis.


"The Postman" is a beautiful, heartbreaking movie about a very different kind of friendship in an outpost of the old world. Mario (Massimo Troisi), the reluctant fisherman in a fishermen's culture, catches cold every time he sets foot in a boat. He takes a modest job delivering mail by bicycle to Pablo Neruda (Phillipe Noiret), the renowned poet living in exile from Chile. Poetry becomes their connection.

The friendship of the unlikely pair speaks the sad truth that we can rarely tell our friends about the inner forces that drive us through life. Much later, in despair, Mario returns to the poet's house to revisit the place that had once been alive with the sounds and sights of emotional discovery. In the silence that now envelops it, the loss of joy is simply overwhelming. It is a wrenching scene.

Mario has a face of piercing intelligence, with sharply angled cheekbones and the saddest eyes you will ever see. He has fallen in love with Beatrice, and he turns to the poet, Neruda, for help in overcoming the halting awkwardness he brings to the courtship. The friendship between the exalted poet and the postman is sublime: the sadness of it is unbearable.

The dedication, "To our friend Massimo," is a deeply simple tribute to Massimo Troisi, the actor who died at 41, one day after filming ended and just before the surgery he had postponed in order to finish the film. Hobbled by illness during the production, he was driven to deliver this message about heartbreak and friendship. We can all be grateful that he felt so strongly.


Film Critic : JOAN ELLIS
Word Count : 267
Studio : Miramax
Rating : PG


Copyright (c) Illusion

Return to Ellis Home Page