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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

The Postman

Il Postino (1994) on IMDb

Plot Overview

the postmanMario Ruoppolo (Massimo Troisi) is not cut out to follow in his fisher­man father's foot­steps, but he needs to “Get your­self a job” because “You're not a kid any­more.” He is fascinated by expatriate Chilean poet Pablo Neruda (Philipe Noiret) who “writes love poems.” Mario seeing a posting, “Wanted: temporary post­man with bicycle” goes down to the “Ufficio Postale” to apply. His barely adequate literacy lands him the job delivering the influx of mail to some fool on the hill, Pablo Neruda him­self. Mario tells Don Pablo, “I'd like to be a poet, too.” The recluse gives him tips on metaphors, which he applies to beautiful café waitress Beatrice (Maria Grazia Cucinotta) serving at the local inn, Vino e Cucina. He slips in some of the master's poems with his own, as well. Beatrice's aunt Donna Rosa (Linda Moretti) inter­cepts them and concludes things are moving way too fast with her niece, so she puts a stop to it, or thought she did.


the discipleMetaphors are not the sole province of poets; Italian is an expressive language that's fraught with juicy gems. The proverb that describes a man's play for a maid uses them: (Prov. 30:18-19) “There be three things which are too wonderful for me, yea, four which I know not: The way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent upon a rock; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a man with a maid.”

“The way of an eagle in the air” can be taken to picture a bird hanging motion­less in the sky until it swoops down on its unwary prey. Beatrice toying with her curious customer Mario holds a foosball in her lips until it's squirted onto the floor. Mario maintains his “intimate friend” Don Pablo up on the hill until, “I'll … show all the girls that I'm a friend of Neruda, the poet of love.” Unfortunately, it won't work when they don't think he's Catholic. Then he makes a sudden appearance as a serious disciple at Our Lady of Sorrows Church.

“The way of a serpent upon a rock” corresponds to the serpentine way the foosball moves towards the goal in the table game Beatrice plays with Mario, “the pinball king.” A man has been known to throw a girl a curve. As Donna Rosa puts it, “When a man starts to touch you with words, he's not far off with his hands.”

“The way of a ship in the midst of the sea” was the way Mario described the poetry bopping with the waves at Cala di Sotto, or for that matter, Beatrice her­self: “Your laugh is a sudden silvery wave.”

Production Values

This pseudo bio, “” (1994) was directed by Michael Radford (& Massimo Troisi.) The story was written by Furio Scarpelli based on the novel Ardiente Paciencia by Chilean writer Antonio Skármeta. It stars Massimo Troisi, Philippe Noiret, and Maria Grazia Cucinotta. Massimo Troisi gives an excellent portrayal of a simple postman with a guileless soul who discovers beauty and poetry later in his life. Philippe Noiret plays a credible Pablo Neruda a seasoned poet with a soft heart. Maria Grazia Cucinotta is a knockout Beatrice the love interest of Mario. Renato Scarpa and Linda Moretti fill their minor roles successfully, as does the rest of the cast.

MPAA rated it PG for mild thematic elements. The music won an Oscar. The cinema­tog­raphy of Franco di Giacomo was magnificent. He had to work around several scheduling handicaps on account of health and condition of some of the actors, but he matched up the natural looking lighting in the disparate takes with­out a hitch. The Italian coastal scenery was a feast for the eyes. Italian voices were expertly dubbed over the native languages spoken by some of the actors.

Review Conclusion w/ Christian Recommendation

Il Postino” is the most popular foreign film shown in America. It's easy to love. Celluloid poetry, a work of art. If this strikes your fancy, don't deny yourself.

Movie Ratings

Action Factor: Weak action scenes Suitability for children: Suitable for children with guidance. Video Occasion: Fit For a Friday Evening Suspense: A few suspenseful moments Special effects: Well done special effects Overall movie rating: Five stars out of five.