Thursday, May 7

Movie Review: Amadeus (1984)

Length: 2hr & 38 mins
Released: 1984
Genre: Drama
Rating: PG
Where I Got It: Netflix 

Amadeus is an expansion of a Viennese "urban legend" concerning the death of 18th century musical genius Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. From the vantage point of an insane asylum, aging royal composer Salieri recalls the events of three decades earlier, when the young Mozart first gained favor in the court of Austrian emperor Joseph II. Salieri was incensed that God would bless so vulgar and obnoxious a young snipe as Mozart with divine genius. Why was Salieri -- so disciplined, so devoted to his art, and so willing to toady to his superiors -- not touched by God? Unable to match Mozart's talent, Salieri uses his influence in court to sabotage the young upstart's career. Disguising himself as a mysterious benefactor, Salieri commissions the backbreaking Requiem, which eventually costs Mozart his health, wealth, and life. Among the film's many pearls of dialogue, the best line goes to the emperor, who rejects a Mozart composition on the grounds that it has "too many notes."


This was a random find on Netflix and since I was in the mood for a Historical Drama, this seemed to be the film for me. Also, Mozart is my favorite composer. He was an interesting man with amazing music. 

At first I was super bummed that this was told in the POV of Salieri (I would have know this if I read the summary before reading). I didn't think that it would work, but it was lovely how he narrated the story. He sure hated Mozart, but he oddly loved him at the same time. Salieri was a confusing and complex man and I loved that (you know how much I love complex characters). It was heartbreaking, though, that he hated him so. Yes, I get being jealous and thinking Mozart doesn't deserve "God's touch". Yes, you worked so damn hard Salieri, but sometimes talent is indeed born as well as learning. *The actor was amazing for this role. Wonderful job sir *bows* 

Ugh. Why was Mozart so annoying in this movie? Yes, I know he was a flawed man, but why give him such an annoying laugh!? Did he have an annoying laugh in real life? Gads, I hope not. Besides for that, I did like the actor picked. Poor Mozart.  

Ugh and the girl who played his wife needed a punch. Her acting was meh and her voice all-so monotone. And NO it was not the "character". I've seen her in another movie a while back and her acting is the same. She was the Kristen Stewart of the 1980s. Bleurgh! Just imagine the two of them being in a movie together. *shudders*

The costumes were meh as well. Some were lovely (especially the dresses) and the Emperor seemed spot-on. But some of the wigs and random outfits made me roll my eyes. Like the pink wig. I do not recall (and correct me if I am wrong) Mozart ever wearing a pink wig. 0.o Highly ridiculous.

 Overall, this was a fun movie about one of my favorite composers. A very flawed man with amazing talent. If I ever find out he wore that pink wig though, I would have to reconsider my favorite composer. Gah. Half the crew did a good job and the other...not so much. I do highly recommend this for those looking for an interesting historical drama about two men; one who is remembered and one who fell in the shadows of history. Out of five stars, I stamp this with 3 stars. 

Favorite Character(s): Mozart (even tho the laugh killed me), Salieri (a complex man and the actor did AMAZING), & the emperor
Not-so Favorite Character(s): Mozart's wife (call him "Wolfy" one more time and I will cut you!)
Re-watch?: Meh, one time was enough


Blodeuedd said...

This one was so not for me

Anachronist said...

This movie used to be my absolute favourite. I like returing to it even now - from time to time. I agree that Mozart's wife was a bit slapstick silly, exactly like her dear mama, but overall the huge, dark, dramatic presence of Salieri has never allowed me to notice much else.And of course Milos Forman skewed some facts concerning the character of Mozart too bc according to his contemporaries Mozart behaved like any contemporary rock super-star. He earned a lot and spent wayyyy too much; that's why he was poor from time to time, not because he was a misunderstood genius.And he died most likely of kidneys failure.

BTW when I visited Salzburg I went to several Mozart's flats. His family really moved flats very often so there were three or four locations to choose from.

Melliane said...

It sounds interesting and I think I know about the movie but I don't think I've seen the movie. Maybe one day.

Carole Rae said...

B, can't win them all.

Ana, it is really good. I am jealous!!! I want to visit Salzburg

Melliane, one day! :D