Posted: 09/18/2011


Going Postal

by Elaine Hegwood Bowen

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Going Postal is a film set in a fantasy world of the United Kingdom that surprised me, even though I had read the description about a guy who was relegated to running the local post office, along with a crew of misfits. This adaptation of Terry Patchett’s beloved Discworld novel was brilliant and caught my attention, right from the start.

Available on Blu-ray and DVD September 20, Going Postal is a two-disc set that shows the escapades of Richard Coyle, playing Moist von Lipwig, after he’s sentenced to hang for all his con-man crimes. Right at the brink of death, he’s given a reprieve by Lord Vetinari, played by Charles Dance, to re-open the post office in Ankh-Morpork. Von Lipwig isn’t too thrilled with this declaration, but it beats the alternative—death—and within his adventures, von Lipwig finds a bit of life along the way. But first he has to understand that many postmasters had met their death before him, and his enemy and competition is the Reacher Gilt, the man who runs the clanks, a system of communication that the townspeople have relied on to get their news to loved ones. But after von Lipwig delivers his first letter and discovers that it was a marriage proposal, he sort of softens to his new, legal lot in life.

He finds he’s unable to manage the thousands of old, musty letters and packages, lost in the old, musty, crumbling post office, but he re-hires Stan and Mr. Groat, a younger and older man, respectively, who have just been hanging around the building after having worked for the now deceased postmasters.

Lest he tries to escape his new assignment, von Lipwig is assigned a body guard, Mr. Pump, a clay monster or Golem who monitors his every move, but who also protects von Lipwig against all harm that comes his way. While trying to walk the straight and narrow, Von Lipwig falls in love with Adora Belle Dearheart, played by Claire Foy, who has her own business going and whose brother was murdered by Gilt. So, whether Adora likes it or not, she and von Lipwig set off to prove that the post office is still viable, he is still worthy of some semblance of respect and that Gilt must go. Other vibrant characters are named Ms. Crisplock, Dave Pins, Crispin Horsefry and Drumknott.

Going Postal is a tale of love, revenge and stamps that will have you mystified at all the misfits and the forms in which they materialize and rooting for the ex-criminal—von Lipwig—to use every ounce of his considerable charm and cunning to restore the post office, trounce Gilt, and win Adora’s affections.

According to a press release describing the DVD,
“Worldwide phenomenon best-known for his Discworld series, Pratchett ranks second only to J.K. Rowling as the U.K.’s bestselling author and in the top-ten bestselling non-U.S. authors in the United States.” I can see why; Going Postal has a great story, with awe-inspiring characters.

Going Postal is available September 20 from Acorn Media. The two-disc DVD boxed set and Blu-ray single feature more than an hour of exclusive extras, including video introduction from Pratchett; director commentary; deleted scenes; blooper reel; and cast, crew, and fan interviews.

Visit for more information.

Elaine Hegwood Bowen is an editor, writer and film critic in Chicago, who also serves as news editor for

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