Italian film, recreating the friendship developed between a local postman and exiled Chilean poet Pablo Neruda.Problem being, there never is much time spent establishing or developing that friendship; each encounter is no more successive or defined other than in their familiarity of routine: ride up to the house, ring the bicycle-bell, hand over the mail (“He’s the poet of the women!/No, he’s the poet of the people”), get tipped, mumble a question, and wander off. The visits lack a certain sequential (and, hence, essential) filling, so that when their relationship has expanded to discussing metaphors, the passage of time is a neglected detail. The other side of the contention could be that, in a friendship of that reverence, the meaning of time is an ignored, unnoticed detail — though that suggestion is surely not very cinematically spoken. Sequences aside, that does not eradicate all things sweet about the movie, seeing that, despite the schmaltzy ending and the Massimo Troisi’s annoying mumble-speech and superfluous gesticulations, the tips don’t stop with the spare change.
Directed by Michael Radford. With Philippe Noiret and Maria Grazia Cucinotta.[Redeemable.]