Pablo Neruda, the famous Chilean poet, is exiled to a small island for political reasons. On the island, the unemployed son of a poor fisherman is hired as an extra postman due to the huge increase in mail that this causes. Il Postino is to hand-deliver the celebrity's mail to him. Though poorly educated, the postman learns to love poetry and eventually befriends Neruda. Struggling to grow and express himself more fully, he suddenly falls in love and needs Neruda's help and guidance more than ever. Written by
Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>
Having just visited the opera version of this film IL POSTINO by Daniel Catan courtesy of PBS Great Performances it is rewarding to return to the original source to honor the nidus for the inspiration for the opera. Directed by Michael Radford the film relates the heartwarming story of Mario (Massimo Troisi), a gentle and simple postman who falls for the beautiful café waitress Beatrice (Maria Grazia Cucinotta) from his village, but is too shy to speak to her. He meets the famous Chilean poet Pablo Neruda (Phillipe Noiret), and, as their friendship develops, the postman's own inner poet awakens. Soon he is able to win the love of Beatrice and even stand up for and express his own beliefs.
This is a simple story graced by sensitive performances: of not the actor Massimo Trosi died from heart failure on the last day of production of the film. It is possibly this knowledge of the loss of one of Italy's best comedic actors along with the clarity and transparency of the film's gentle message about love and art that has made it a cult film. At any rate this is a film that belongs in every movie lover's library.
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