Tuesday, 10 December 2013
Directed by Milos Forman
Nominated for 11 Oscars, Won 8
Wins Include: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Lead Actor (F. Abraham Murray), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Art/Set Direction, Best Costume, Best Makeup, Best Sound
Antonio Salieri always wanted to be like Mozart. Mozart, a child prodigy, playing for emperors and royalty at a very young age. Salieri prayed to God that he may also give Salieri the talent that Mozart has. He wishes to praise God with his music and promises him his chastity if he can devote his life to music. Later on in life, he becomes the court composer for Emperor Joseph II, and is content. However, he becomes eager to see Mozart. He is extremely disappointed to find that, upon seeing Mozart (chasing after a young girl, kissing her in scandalous places and making fart jokes), that he is extremely crass and immature. Salieri becomes angry with God, that He gave young, crass, immature Mozart his divine talent, and gave Salieri, a man who wanted to devote his life to music and to use it to praise God, much less. And thus begins the rivalry, and the madness of Salieri, who later claims to have killed Mozart.
Amadeus is a film that, after I finished watching, I didn't know what I thought about it. Nor did I know what to think or feel about it. It was a slightly peculiar story, and one I wasn't sure how I felt about it.
I think what made me feel this way, is that this story didn't feel like a "true story". Mozart was a little too obnoxious and ridiculous that it always felt like an exaggeration. Salieri had such a twisted view of God and how he allots talent. Additionally, Salieri once did claim to have killed Mozart, but later, on his death bed, confirmed that he did not.
But I think one of my main issues was the movie was not decisive on who you should be rooting for. Both Mozart and Salieri were really messed up, and I ended up feeling sympathy for neither of them. Mozart was caught up in censorship of the time, and trying to do what he wanted creatively. But he went about so many things the wrong way, trying to display why he should be able to put on shows for whatever he writes, even if it is banned. He is often shown is immature, and ill-prepared. Salieri, on the other hand, is shown as someone who is mad at God that a brat like Mozart should receive all the talent. And plotted to murder Mozart. He explains, in his old age, that he had plotted this, but in the end Salieri did not literally murder him in the traditional sense. Only in a very vague abstract sense.
Other than this, the film looked incredible. The filming locations were beautiful, the costumes were great. The art/set decoration was lovely and the makeup and wigs were fantastic. Period pieces that win Best Picture are always so good-looking, and this film is a great example. The music, obviously, was fabulous. It was cool to have Mozart's music playing for so much of the time, but was also there to serve as what is going through Mozart's head, stopping abruptly when interrupted while writing down his music, and cuing up when writing again.
The acting was just decent. Tom Hulce had a crazy, disgusting laugh which was quite fun, though appropriately annoying. F Murray Abraham was calm, cool and collected, with a simmering layer of crazy.
Overall, I felt very mixed about this film. It was a decent film, though a little longer than it probably could've been. And I felt it was more interesting learning about the life of Mozart, and found Salieri's story line quite boring and felt the film (ironically) would be better off without him.
Music – 9.5/10
"The look"- 9/10
Emotional Connection- 7.5/10
Did I like It?- 7.5/10
"Total Package"**- 8/10
Posted by Heather Martin