Il Postino [The Postman]

MPAA Rating: PG

Entertainment: +1 1/2

Content: +2

In the early 1950's on an exotic, rocky island off Italy, Mario Ruopollo (Massimo Troisi) lives with his elderly father who is a fisherman. In his thirties, shy and with a rather slow wit, Mario is unemployed and has little purpose in his life. But he gets a job as a postman delivering voluminous mail to a popular exiled Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda. Pablo lives with his wife in a cottage overlooking the sea, and he and Mario become good friends. And Pablo patiently tries to help Mario write poetry. One day, Mario falls in love with Beatrice, an attractive young working woman. He quotes verses from Pablo's poetry to win her over, and surprisingly Beatrice agrees to marry him. Eventually, Pablo returns to Chile, but his presence lives on in Mario's heart and mind. Mario even follows Pablo's communist leanings and participates in a communist protest rally with tragic results. IL POSTINO (The Postman) is a sensitive, pleasant film whose appeal rests largely on the unique character of Mario and his amusing conversations with Pablo. However, it is much too simple and slow moving to appeal to the average American audience. The dialogue is spoken in Italian with English subtitles.

Nevertheless, IL POSTINO is refreshing as it portrays the life of the simple, quiet people on the island without the usual offensive elements of Hollywood films. Its dialogue is essentially free of foul language, with the exception of one obscenity. On several occasions, Beatrice displays some cleavage in her low cut dresses and her mother makes some explicit sexual comments concerning Mario's interest in Beatrice. Pablo is a refined gentleman and sincerely shows care and concern for Mario and Beatrice. When Mario aligns himself with the Italian communists and participates in a protest rally, there is a strong implication that communism is desirable and capitalism is evil. This is an unfortunate message, but is the only really serious flaw in the film.

Preview Reviewer: John Evans
Miramax Films, 375 Greenwich, NY, NY 10013

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: None

Obscene Language: Once (no s- or f-words)

Profanity: None

Violence: Few times - Moderate (striking, rough treatment and police threats at communist rally)

Sex: None

Nudity: Near nudity - Few times (woman in low cut dress)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Several times (explicit sexual remarks, but not intended to be crude)

Drugs: Few times (drinking in restaurant)

Other: Implication that communism is desirable and capitalism evil

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Adults

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