Il Postino - General Vision and Viewpoint

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Il Postino stands out in contrast to both the previous texts as its vision is quite optimistic. Mario is able to rise above the limitations of his world to realise his potential and become happy. The film does begin in a gloomy manner as Mario struggles to communicate with his withdrawn father – their relationship is strained. When Mario shows his father a postcard from America, his father tells him to get a job – he is ‘not a child anymore.’ Mario’s father earns a meagre living as a fisherman, similar to the Mundy’s house, his home is sparsely furnished and they have just run out of water. Family life here resembles Lughnasa more than Lies of Silence. The relationship between the two men is problematic while Mario is living at home but it noticeably improves when the son marries the love of his life, Beatrice. We are presented with an uplifting image of joy when she becomes pregnant and Mario listens to the sound of his baby’s beating heart. Contrasting sharply to Lies of Silence, the relationships in Il Postino are very positive – the most important being between mario and Pablo Neruda, the Chilean poet and communist living in exile in Capri. They grow closer when Mario asks the poet to help him win the heart of Beatrice (Neruda had a reputation as a ladies’ man). Mario wins Beatrice’s love by reciting lines from Pablo’s poems. Mario remarks that ‘poetry doesn’t belong to those who write it, but to those who need it’ revealing a deep understanding of poetry. This sparks his interest in poetry and Mario discusses this art with his new friend in Neruda’s home and on the beach, beginning with a discussion on metaphors (being able to relate to ‘I am tired of being a man’). Mario expresses gratitude to Neruda by asking him to be his best man but he is also interested in Neruda’s communist philosophy (aware of social injustice). Mario grows in confidence through this relationship: the new, assertive Mario takes issue with members of a local politician’s posse who are...
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