I guess I just have to be different.

Yes, it is three hours long. But that's hardly time enough for plot, or character development. And there were no real special effects, so nothing to keep the eyes focused, I suppose.

I was totally engaged. Just another case of willing suspension of disbelief.

The collapse of everything is itself not an original start, but then, neither is much science fiction. Though I'm not sure how much science fiction The Postman is. Great catastrophes "bugs, riots, three year winters", have destroyed the communication infrastructure, killed most, and isolated the survivors.

The story is that of a drifter who, through necessity of circumstance, takes on the identity of a postman in a country where there are none. Where there is no communication.

He took the uniform to keep warm. He spins the idea that he is a postman to get something to eat. And he discovers that those around him have an even greater hunger than he does.

Being an imaginative, and intelligent man, though possibly, at the beginning, without purpose, he finds himself drawn into their need. Not all of that need is spiritual--he says to himself it must be the uniform.

But he inspires the children. They carry on his fantasy when he goes off on a subplot, and make it a reality. And how can any of us here, on Everything, on the internet, doubt the power of communication, of contact, not only for the information, but for the more subtle, and more profound changes it directs.

There is too much in the three hours to relate here--a love story, many vignettes of courage, and valor in a brutal land.

One particularly powerful scene is the meeting of the postman's assistant with another postal carrier from another place. They had never met before; the idea had travelled. What made the meeting more poignant, was that it was before a firing squad of the renegade army.

I was particularly impressed by the representation of a man of intelligence, imagination, gentleness, possessed of a courage that John Wayne was not, would prevail.

That a man could create an idea--tell a story--that would engulf him, and everyone around him, and the audience of the film... Some of un anyway. But that is the willing part of the suspension of disbelief.

Have so many of us lost the ability to respond to an idea that we need effects?

Are we not are all creatures who need to speak to each other. Why can't Hermes be a hero? Must it always be Mars?

The Postman was originally a novel by David Brin. It's a science fiction novel that starts off promisingly (see above) with reflections on the nature of leadership, popularity, and heroism combined with a pretty gripping story about saving civilization. But the second half is pretty disappointing; Brin goes into a thematic tangent revolving around weird ideas about gender roles and comes up with a really stupid ending that doesn't provide a satisfactory conclusion to any of the themes or plots, except of course for the Indian cyborg subplot.

Kevin Costner took this ambitious but flawed book and turned it into a more ambitious but more flawed movie. He cut out some of the tangents and subplots, but his rewritten ending managed to be even more stupid than the book's original ending. Plus, the movie falls prey to all the typical Costner flaws--long dialogue-free shots of Costner doing simple things, excessive thematizing, and banal messages about relationships. It wasn't a good movie exactly, but I have to admit that I've never understood why it was singled out for vitriolic hatred. The three hours of The Postman were a heck of a lot easier to bear than, say, any 15 minutes of End of Days.

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