I think that there is a valid connection between Il Postino and Dante… where Mario could be seen as the poet Dante, Beatrice is (unsurprisingly) Beatrice (his inspiration in both contexts), and Pablo Neruda is Virgil, Dante’s (and thus, Mario’s) poetic ‘father’ figure. Also, upon examining the film’s script, there is a direct reference in the scene with Mario and Neruda speaking at the cafe:
Mario: I’m in love, really, really in love.
Neruda: Who are you in love with?
Mario: Her name’s Beatrice.
Neruda: Beatrice. Dante. Dante Alighieri. He fell for a certain Beatrice. Beatrices have inspired boundless love. What are you doing?
Mario: Writing down the name Dante. Dante I know, but Alighieri–
Contributed by Aisha Woodward (Bowdoin, ’08)