The Postman

Never before has it taken so long to get to such a predictable ending. What actually happens at approximately the hour and a half mark is that everyone involved in the film forgets that films are supposed to end, and they just keep on shooting more and more stuff! I say stuff, because very little in The Postman actually makes any sense, it is all just lots of stuff all occurring, with Costner sort of wandering through all the stuff and with other stuff happening around him. At one point he goes in a sort of weird aerial runway ride thing for literally no reason at all. Ostensibly it is so he can get to the next town quickly, but we don’t actually see him at the next town, he just shows up somewhere else entirely with an army or something, the entire aerial runway scene is just some stuff that happens. Most of the stuff is supposed to be moving and inspirational (or potentially theme park ride inspiring, this is the only reason I can see for the inclusion of the aerial runway) but no amount of orchestral cues and teary eyed blind women can cover up the fact that no one in the film actually acts like a normal human being, and so we end up not really having any emotional attachment to them. I think Costner realises this is the case, at one point, rather than ask for a script re-write (could have put in an ending while they were at it) he just makes it all ok by repeatedly calling the women he is sort of having a kid with (long story) “weird”. Yeah, she is really weird, 90% of the stuff she does and says makes no sense at all, she shoots a horse and burns a house down for goodness sake. She could have just not done those things, but rather than throw away those pages of the script they just wrote in a couple of extra lines explaining that she is weird – well that makes it all ok then. So anyway, if we get past the fact that its a big soppy cheesy badly written behemoth of film we eventually come down to the fact that it is clearly a re-imagining of the American Civil War, though re-imagining is giving it a lot of credit. So, I think to myself, what was going on in America in 1997 which could have inspired this sudden interest in transposing the Civil War into a future dystopia, well … I came up with nothing. What I did find out though is that the film is based on a book which was written in the 80’s. I have since read said book, and can confirm that it is so completely different from the film that to say it is based upon it would be a crime, I mean just turning the book over immediately confirmed my initial suspicion, that it did indeed have an ending. So the 80’s were a slightly more turbulent time for America than the late 90’s, more call one might think for a big cheesy opus to what the United States represents. But in reality the weird Civil War thing doesn’t appear in the book, nor does most of what happens in the film. And so we are no closer to knowing where on earth it all came from. Perhaps this is why the film did so badly at the box office, it is a call to arms released at a time when there was nobody to fight, that said the implication is that were it to be released today it might do better – it wouldn’t.

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