|Directed by||Hiroyuki Tanaka|
|Written by||Hiroyuki Tanaka|
|Screenplay by||Hiroyuki Tanaka|
|Music by||Daisuke Okamoto|
|Edited by||Kakesu Shûichi|
Postman Blues (ポストマン・ブルース Posutoman Burūsu?) is a 1997 Japanese criminal action comedy-drama film directed and written by Hiroyuki Tanaka under the name Sabu. The film features Shin'ichi Tsutsumi, Keisuke Horibe, Ren Ohsugi and Kyōko Tōyama in the lead roles. It tells the story of a postman (Shin'ichi Tsutsumi) who is mistaken by the police as a criminal.
Sawaki (Shin'ichi Tsutsumi) is a postman. He has an old friend Noguchi (Keisuke Horibe) who, unknown to him, had become a yakuza. Noguchi was being spied by the police for a long time. One day Sawaki delivers a letter to him and stays at his place for a while. During his stay Noguchi puts a package of drugs into Sawaki's letter bag. His finger, which he cut off as a symbol of loyalty to his gang, also accidentally falls into the bag. Viewing his relationship with Noguchi, the police think that Sawaki is a member of the yakuza and follow him. On reaching home, Sawaki finds a suicide note in his bag written by a cancer patient to her aunt. He rushes to the hospital to see the girl Kyoko (Kyoko Toyama) and falls in love with her. He meets a hit man Joe (Ren Osugi) there who tells him how he had won the contract killing competition called the "Killer of killers". The police profiler (Tomoro Taguchi), who was following Sawaki, comes to the conclusion that Sawaki is a member of the criminal gang. Meanwhile, Naguchi discovers that the finger he had cut was no longer in his house. All this marked the beginning of problems for Sawaki.
- Shin'ichi Tsutsumi as Sawaki
- Kyôko Tôyama as Kyoko
- Ren Osugi as Joe
- Keisuke Horibe as Noguchi Shuji
- Shimizu Hiroshi as Detective Domon Taizo
- Takizawa Ryoko as Ran
- Tomorowo Taguchi as Profiler
- Akaji Maro as Hanta
Reviews and reception
The film received mixed reviews from critics but was hailed as one of the best works of Hiroyuki Tanaka. The film was commercially successful and was declared a hit at the Japanese box office. Though the story appeared a bit complicated but the screenplay led the audience to enjoy the movie. The action and the dialogues of the movie were also appreciated. Cinematographer Kuriyama Shuji was appreciated for implementing the change of camera work from high action scenes to love scenes. The Japanese film critics praised the film by calling it ' both a superb parody of the gangster genre and a masterful exercise in style and storytelling.' 
The film also received negative reviews from a few foreign film critics. Peter Bradshaw of Theguardian.com called the film a "chaotic Yakuza thriller, which has a lot of energy and pace, but is let down by uncertain, and slightly callow, undertones of comic sentimentality." French critics said that "Postman Blues could have been an intelligent extension of his first film that surprised many people." It was even called a disappointment and an innocent black comedy.
Home video release
DVD of the film was released by Asian Film Network.
|Bangkok Film Festival, 1998||Audience Award for best feature film - Asian Cinema||Won|
|Cognac Festival du Film Policier, 1999||'New Blood' Award||Hiroyuki Tanaka||Won|
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- "Postman Blues". japansociety.org. January 28, 2011. Retrieved 28 April 2014.
- Bradshaw, Peter. "Postman Blues (Posutoman Burusu)". theguardian.com. Retrieved 28 April 2014.
- "Iken-eiga - Critiques du film - Postman blues" (in French). iken-eiga.fr. Retrieved 28 April 2014.
- "Postman Blues (1997)" (in Norwegian). dvd-world.biz. Retrieved 28 April 2014.