Synopsis by Eleanor Mannikka
In this first version of the 1994 Il Postino by director and scriptwriter Antonio Skarmeta, Pablo Neruda (Roberto Parada) is living peaceably in Isla Negra, a seacoast town in Chile, and enjoying his daily interactions with the local townspeople. Since his mail is always loaded down with letters from all over the world, Neruda gets to know his postman very well -- and the two develop a father-son type relationship. When the postman, Mario Jiménez (Oscar Castrol) falls in love with Beatriz (Marcela Osorio), he becomes so tongue-tied he is just hopeless. In desperation, he asks Neruda for help in expressing his feelings, and the kind poet generously "loans" him verses from his love poems to help win over the captivating Beatriz. The warm and loving, father-son relationship between the poet and his postman affirms a shared humanity and continues when Neruda also achieves world-wide attention as he runs for president in Chile (1970), represents his country in Paris under Allende, and accepts the Nobel prize for literature (1971). The fate of both men, however, will soon be tied to the political events that would change the country in 1973 and bring in the dictatorship of Pinochet. Unlike its later Italian remake, this version of Skarmeta's story stays in Chile and is set in the 1970s. Also unlike its later remake, Neruda is less aloof, and is more open to the postman.
campaign, class-consciousness, dictator, friendship, love, mail-person, politician