Il Postino is a beautiful Italian film. It captures the beauty of Salina (a volcanic island off Italy), the Romance of Neruda's poetry and the unique character of Mario Ruoppolo
The success of Il Postino lies in its understated treatment of love, simplicity and human values.The film centres on the character of Mario Ruoppolo played by Massimo Troisi. He gives a convincing performance of a simple, yet genuinely honest soul. It is no coincidence that Massimo Troisi tragically passed away the day after filming was completed. He gave everything to the role (including delaying necessary heart surgery). His performance is profoundly moving, yet avoids the sickly sentimentality of hollywood, it also avoid the mind-numbing predictability of Hollywood. I will not give away the ending, save to say, it is thoughtful and deeply engaging; it will leave you thinking of the different themes long after the film's ending.
I am not a great fan of romance movies, but, if they are made like this I could watch alot more. The simplicity of Mario Ruoppolo is matched through the simplicity of the film. Yet, the simplicity should not be mistaken for being boring. The film offers many little gems turning the ordinary into the significant and beautiful. It seems no scene is wasted, it is the kind of film that benefits from repeat viewing.
Even the dialogue offers great treats from the poetry of Neruda, to the gems of Mario Ruoppolo. For example, on becoming interested in Communism, Mario says (with all integrity) "When we break our chains - what happens then?"
The film deals sympathetically with Communism. But, if this goes against your political views, don't let this put you off. For it is not a political film and there is no sense of propaganda. It is primarily a film of one's man experience of love, poetry, life, regret and hope.
It would be a hard heart which did not enjoy at least some aspects of this film. I would highly recommend it.
Music from Il Postino