If movies are indeed a medium to capture arresting visual spectacles for posterity, it’s hard to envision a grander extravaganza than the giggling Mozart of Amadeus (1984).
Bear in mind that Amadeus was made in an era when the gimmickry of computer generated imagery was still far into the future.
Thank God, in the 1980s script, acting and photography was all.
As it should be, but, alas, seldom is these days.
There are a gazillion movies out there and we’d never have stumbled upon Amadeus but for the recommendation of one of our few classy, astute readers. 😉
That’s how we ended up renting the 160-minute film Amadeus from Netflix.
Unfortunately, the DVD was cracked and we couldn’t watch the second side.
So we had to wait a few days for Netflix to ship a replacement.
Written by Peter Shaffer and splendidly directed by Miloš Forman, Amadeus is a visual feast on the life of 18th century composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
We liked Amadeus for two reasons.
First, we live in an era where there are few genuine artists.
Puffery and image manipulation with the help of dubious flacks is all in our current times.
Two-bit talents like Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar, Shruti Hassan et al strut about the stage as cocks of the walk.
So it’s more than refreshing to see a genuine, first-rate talent like Mozart ride center-stage.
We may not recognize the words in Mozart’s operas but we do not fail to see the magic at play, the hand of genius that wrought them.
The movie is told from the perspective of Mozart’s less-talented but more ambitious rival Antonio Salieri, played brilliantly by F. Murray Abraham.
Tom Hulce plays the central character Mozart.
Salieri is an old man when we first encounter him in an asylum following a suicide attempt. To the young priest who has come to take his confession, Salieri recounts the brilliance of his long dead rival.
Second, the lengthy movie beautifully captures Mozart’s life, the young composer’s move from Salzburg to Vienna, the intense palace rivalry, his marriage to Constanze, the difficult relationship with his father, the hard financial struggles, his spendthrift attitude, relentless toil and, above all, the composer’s premature death.
Far too often, when a movie or book turns its gaze on an individual – famous or infamous – the context is regrettably lost in the intense focus. Not so here.
If for nothing else, you should watch Amadeus for the Don Giovanni opera! It is a spine-tingling moment
Amadeus is one of those rare films that deserves to be purchased, watched and rewatched.
The movie has received more accolades (Oscars, Cannes etc) than we can recollect!
SearchIndia.com recommends Amadeus to all moviegoers who know the difference between class and crass!