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Il Postino : The Postman

I saw this movie recently while travelling to Chennai in the train and before I knew it I was transported to a sleepy little Italian village on the coast where beauty abounds in every frame. Beauty herself forms a major character, she is everywhere you care to look and that's what the protagonist Mario (Massimo Troisi) discovers after he interacts with a well known poet in exile, Pablo Neruda. The Cuban poet, Pablo Neruda (portrayed by Phillippe Noiret), arrives in a small island in Italy after being exiled for his communist beliefs. And Mario, a reluctant fisherman, longs for another job and when the necessity of a postman to deliver mail to the most famous person on the island arises, Mario lands this job. He hesitantly starts befriending Pablo and reading his poems, this awakens his soul to the beauty of being, of observing, of existing. As I sat there on the upper berth watching this movie while everybody was fast asleep, I was moved by this fisherman who found magic in metaphors. The words he reads and the way he begins to grasp the nuances of poetry, in both the written word and the living poetry found in the sound of gently lapping waves, the breeze as it hits the cliffs and in everybody around him... it envelops you too. You are struck by the beauty of a chugging train sneaking away into the night with everybody fast asleep and you wide awake, marveling at the power of words and discovering new ways to love them. 

Most of the movies these days focus on love (even this movie starts out like this), most of the songs are about love... this is understandable; being in love is a really heady feeling, you tend to be consumed by it. But love like this, about the evocative power of words is more revolutionary. It seeps into your consciousness making you evolve as a person, and this is exactly what happens to Mario. Massimo Troisi was so involved with this movie that he postponed heart surgery to complete it and suffered a fatal heart attack a day after the movie was completed. But he has immortalized himself as the simple postman who shares a beautiful friendship with a famous poet who awakens in him a higher level of consciousness. 

So if you are in the mood for a heartwarming story about friendship, love of words, poetry and nature then be sure to check this 1994 Italian movie... 

Comments

Daemon Zak said…
great! the need to watch it has been eliminated by your post.
Karen Xavier said…
Haha, it would have gone over your head anyway...
Haddock said…
Had heard about this movie. Must watch it one of these days.

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