Il Postino: The Postman (Il Postino) Reviews
Il Postino: The Postman isn't a perfect story, but it is an entertaining one. It is a simple and character focused one with a slow moving plot and drama which is really subtle. The key theme of the film is how is revolves around Mario Ruoppolos finding romance in his life through examining the poetry of the world, and so it ends up being a very artistic feature. Unfortunately, this also means that the film has limited appeal because it has a slow pace consistently over the course of its 108 minute running time. It's one of this films where not much happens and so it is only engaging dependent on how much the viewer values the themes it explores, and for me, romance is not an exciting or interesting theme so it is clear that I am not the target audience for Il Postino: The Postman. Yet the film still had me entertained, and even though the story was thin and not too interesting to me, I enjoyed Il Postino: The Postman essentially based on the fact that it told its story with a lot of intelligently written dialogue and story elements, the visual style of the film and the leading performance of Massimo Troisi.
Visually, Il Postino: The Postman is just beautiful. Using artistically orchestrated cinematography, Il Postino: The Postman is able to capture a lot of beautiful and lush Italian scenery with a poetic sense to it which isolates itself from the character in a distance during some of the more emotionally troubling scenes and focuses more closely on him during moments when his passion thrives. Everything in Il Postino: The Postman is captured very nicely with fine cinematography, and it is edited gently to ensure that the film has a certain level of realism to it along the way. Visually, Il Postino: The Postman is a really beautiful film and it encourages the artistic merit of the film by giving it a gentle atmosphere which means that the film deals with some emotional themes but never lets them stand in the way of the natural beauty that comes with the story development. Il Postino: The Postman remains realistic in that retrospect because it does not have to dramatize anything to get its point across or to stand as sufficiently entertaining storytelling since it is easily able to do that thanks to Michael Radford's direction. Michael Radford takes the simply concept of Il Postino: The Postman and turns it into a truly interesting film by making it a compelling one and an artistic tale, and he manages to handle the material of the script with the visual style together while ensuring that the cast of the film take maximum advantage of the project. He grips the film with a lot of strong directional tenacity.
Luis Enriquez Bacalov's musical score is just beautiful. It is so light and yet perfectly emotional which means that it enhances the mood of the situations. The music is subtle and is not used to dramatize any particular events but does occasionally lift up the passionate spirit of the film and give it an encouraged sense of lighthearted movement. The music in Il Postino: The Postman is just beautiful and is one of the film's top elements particularly because of the artistic and romantic poetry in it alone and just how that makes the atmosphere of the film all the more better than it already is.
But the thing that really makes Il Postino: The Postman succeed is the fact that it benefits from an incredible lead performance from Massimo Troisi.
Massimo Troisi really makes a sympathetic figure out of Mario Ruoppolos because he uses simple acting talent to convey a sense of loneliness within him. He has the mere face of a friendly man and he uses the expressions of a lonely one so naturally that he establishes the appropriate persona of the part really easily. He plays an everyman in the role and does it with such natural ease and genuine charm that it is easy for viewers to find themselves sympathising for him and really caring about him. He has the look of an Italian Bruce Campbell with the charm and some of the looks of John Turturro, so he is a friendly sight for the eyes, and as he really develops the character the story progresses very nicely. The thing about the character Mario Ruoppolos is that he simply is an everyman given the job of a postman which reinvigorates life and changes his perspective on things, and the kind of development that Massimo Troisi puts into the character is really the driving force that carries the film to the end. Massimo Troisi is spot on in the part with his easy charisma and natural acting spirit which makes him a compelling lead, and it establishes an easy connection between the audience and Mario Ruoppolos, so his leading performance is really a beautiful thing and an exceptional one for him to go out on before he parted ways with the earth. He actually suspended heart surgery to complete his performance in this film, and the day after filming he died from a heart attack, so he actually let himself die for this film to be made. That is very saddening and shows just how passionate he was about this project, and so his performance is a truly bittersweet one.
Phillipe Noiret gives a nice supporting performance as well largely because of the quality of chemistry he shares with Massimo Troisi, and Maria Grazia Cucinotta does a good job.
So although it is a slow film which may not appeal to every viewer, Il Postino: The Postman is a quirky and interesting drama film about poetry and romance which benefits from artistic direction on behalf of Michael Radford, a beautiful musical score from Luis Enriquez Bacalov and an astounding leading performance from the late Massimo Troisi.