Five Notes Why Amadeus Rocks!

  • Milos Forman’s cinematography in Amadeus  offers an authentic slice of 18th century Vienna. Especially the masterful recreation of the urban populace, their immaculate costumes and not to mention the brilliant acting of the extras (the theater crowds, the general pedestrians on the streets etc.), makes Forman one of the greatest recreates of ambience in Hollywood.amadeus_conductor1


  • The interweaving music and operas throughout the Amadeus movie – From the lilting ‘The Marriage of Figaro’ to the frighteningly stunning Don Giovanni. The music in general is divine, which is a given. The music is the understructure of the movie, contrasting the childish and goofy personality of Mozart with the profound music of the gods. Mozart’s music keeps ravaging the emotions of the audience and once again, to the director’s credit, the timing and the choice of music is perfect. The requiems, the symphonies and the mass in C minor, it complimented the sequences perfectly. The film was about Mozart’s eccentric life primarily; hence some of his greatest masterpieces such as Jupiter Symphony, no 39 & 40 were not highlighted.


  • The characterization of Mozart and his subtle rivalry with Salieri. This was an unprecedented portrayal of Mozart, which was controversial and refreshing at the same time. His frivolous behavior, his flirtations and his gradual decoration into lunacy and desolation. Tom Hulce offers a credible portrayal of a wit and brilliance. AS Hulce says ‘ Forgive me, Majesty. I am a vulgar man! But I assure you, my music is not.’

    • Contrastingly, F. Murray Abraham as Antonio Salieri puts up a performance of a lifetime, picking up a deserved Academy award. His character is difficult as the sober and God fearing Salieri. The tug-of war in his mind between his moral values and jealousy is exceptionally acted. AS the scenes unfold, we find Salieri being saddled with hatred, insecurity and embarrassment, at the same time; Salieri cannot stop getting mesmerized by the music belted out by the genius. Also, Abraham playing the old man in an asylum is hauntingly sublime. His incurable dilemma is summed up by the old Salieri ‘All I wanted was to sing to God. He gave me that longing… and then made me mute. Why? ‘


    • The costume design and the sets in Amadeus movie! Evidently, the attention to details to every corner of the frame, the palace of Emperor Joseph II, the make-up, everything makes this one of the greatest period films of all time.



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