4 Stars
Year Released: 1998
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 83 minutes
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Roy’s an apathetic Norwegian mailman with the nasty habit of sorting through people’s mail, discarding the junk and absconding with the juicy stuff. When Line, an attractive woman from the neighborhood dry cleaner, leaves her keys dangling from her mailbox, Roy does the gentlemanly thing: he uses them to sneak inside her apartment for a little snooping around. And I thought I had no life.
Before long, he’s visiting on a regular basis, making himself at home while gradually uncovering a dark secret in Line’s past. When he falls asleep at Line’s and awakes to save her from a sleeping pill-induced suicide drowning in her bathtub, then recklessly confronts Georg, her abusive partner in crime, Roy finally crosses a line. No longer a passive “Rear Window-ish” observer of Line’s mysterious life, this El Postino becomes an ever-more active participant.
Sundance, Cannes and Toronto, this film hit ‘em all and it’s easy to see why. Pal Sletaune’s “Junk Mail” is weird, off-beat fun. Onion skin layers of never-quite solved mysteries unpeel here, ensnaring the frightened protagonists, confusing the colorful assortment of peripheral players, and completely steamrollering a hopelessly out-gunned Georg.
While Roy is definitely the anti-hero of anti-heros – Kevin Costner’s postman, eat your heart out – his very existence posits an interesting question: How can Norway, a country presumably without trailer parks, have trailer park trash? Even though that’s basically what Roy is, his actions underscore one simple rule of life: Never piss off the mailman.

Posted on June 29, 1998 in Reviews by

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