6.8/10
1,846
31 user 38 critic

Junk Mail (1997)

Budbringeren (original title)
A lazy postman puts his nose where it doesn't belong.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Skjærstad ...
Roy Amundsen
Andrine Sæther ...
Line Groberg
Per Egil Aske ...
Georg Rheinhardsen
Eli Anne Linnestad ...
Betsy
Trond Høvik ...
Sæther
Ådne Olav Sekkelsten ...
Per
...
Espen (as Trond Fausa Aurvaag)
Henriette Steenstrup ...
Gina
Bjørn Sundquist ...
Stein
Karl Sundby ...
Rune
Rolf Arly Lund ...
Postmaster
Geir Morstad ...
Einar Karlsen
Rolf Dolven ...
Security Guard
Helge Sveen ...
Secondhand Bookseller
Geir-Atle Johnsen ...
Junkie 1 (as Geir Johnsen)

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Storyline

A postman, Roy, finds the key to an apartment left in the mailbox. Investigating the apartment, he falls in love with its inhabitant, Line. But Line has other "friends", involved in dangerous affairs. Written by Bjorn Smestad <bjornsm@math.uio.no>

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Sometimes adventure comes in the least likely package. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Thriller

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 April 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Junk Mail  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$2,100,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

DEM 18,755 (Germany) (17 April 1998)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Line Groberg: Why are you following me?
Roy Amundsen: I don't know.
Line Groberg: Are you going to follow me for a long time?
Roy Amundsen: I think so.
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User Reviews

 
A Scandanavian 'Taxi Driver'
19 April 2001 | by (dublin, ireland) – See all my reviews

A postman is like a taxi-driver, a medium of connecting people and places. Like the taxi driver, the postman lives a vicarious life: he sees others living theirs, but has no part in it himself. Any inherent bias towards solitude thus becomes intensified. Unlike other people, who generally stay in their allotted social position - in work, home and play - the postman and taxi driver are mobile and fluid: they are urban creatures who can unite people, classes, places that normally would remain apart.

If there is one genre that depends on connection, cross-class and -space mobility, it is the detective genre. A detective needs to be able to connect disparate clues and suspects into the single narrative of a crime. 'Junk mail' begins with a crime, filmed with some urgency, as a couple mug a security guard and steal a large amount of money. This is, to the audience, a random, inexplicable act - we don't know who any of these characters are, and why they are in this situation.

The next sequence introduces the film's protagonist, the postman. Not only does he have the advantages outlined above, but he has that third, most vital prerequisite for a detective: he is a voyeur. He spies on people in shops. He opens their mail. He breaks into their houses and examines their things. By mixing his job and his personal perversions, he is able to explain that opening sequence, find the clues and piece them together.

Normally, the detective is a moral force - he restores social order after the violation of a crime. But Roy is himself a criminal, and it is Line's shoplifting that attracts him to her. One way a detective solves a crime is by imagining himself as the criminal, e.g. Sherlock Holmes in disguise. Roy is the least appealing 'hero' of modern cinema, filthy in personal habits, anti-social, the kind of cynical, cowardly brute who violates those who, through their own sins, have no legal redress.

But he is also a non-entity: a comic scene of humiliation at work reveals him to have no talent whatsoever. Not even his nominal, despised girlfriend can think of one positive attribute. When we first see him, he is being bullied by a superior. His illegalities are all about invading others' lives, or entering identities because he has none of his own. When he breaks into Line's apartment, he tries to imagine what it is like to be her, to the point where he unwittingly falls asleep on her bed. He even steals her tastes for his own when they first (consciously) meet. He is Chesterton's invisible man (also a postman) - unnoticed because he's always there.

Like many recent alienated urban heroes ('Chopper', 'Bleeder', etc.), Roy is a child of Travis Bickle, and the look of the film has the lurid, sickly colour of 'Taxi Driver', the city as vomit, with Roy hurtling towards his own warped redemptive rescue. But there is a vision of Oslo as a dank, run-down bureaucracy similar to the Czech comedies of the 1960s, or, more obviously, Orwell (or 'Brazil'), that bespeaks a more social purpose - this is not the film the Norwegian tourist board will be distributing. The glum scene where Roy is awarded a watch for bravery having been attacked by thugs (his strap got caught in his panicked hurry to oblige) is comically reminiscent of Kaurismaki.


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