A long overdue review : Amadeus (1984) dir. Miloš Forman

I recently watched the movie Amadeus directed by Miloš Forman in 1984. I know, it’s better late than never. I really wanted to scribble a little something before I forget about the things it made me think about. It seems to have everything I take a liking on: history, drama and music. As a freak for drama films and opera I must say I loved the movie. I tried to put some distance between the reality of Mozart’s life, what might be true, and what the movie has put out there for me to see. We know of the director mostly from the classic One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest in 1975 so we already know the aesthetics are more than pleasing.

I really like to see the contrast in a specific place that only occurs when we attribute a different meaning to it. This meaning is of course changed through time so it shows how the perception of the same place is changing in different times. I like to see it in movies (Richard Linklater is one of the directors that come to my mind who uses this contrast in his films).

The movie made me think about the villain-hero relationship that’s been going on since- well, since the religious writings. Very much like the story of Cain and Abel, two sons of Adam, one favored by god and the other disliked and in complete jealousy. (I also like movies with underlying meanings like biblical or mythological references. Like Lars Von Trier’s films.) Mozart, the genius, and Salieri, the underdog. It made me think about this admiration and jealousy embodied in one person. Adoration competing with jealousy. Like Antonio Salieri, the “rival” of Mozart as portrayed, cannot stand the fact that he does not possess the talent that Mozart creates his masterpieces with yet he still has an amount of talent that only enables him to understand and admire the genius work of Amadeus Mozart. To him, that is his curse. He understands how pathetic he is when comparing himself with Mozart but there is nothing he can do. He tries to out-do him but it’s impossible. At this point the movie also draws my attention to the never ending “Can hard work ever beat talent?” question. And I am not the one to answer it. All in all I really enjoyed the movie and I hope you enjoyed my blabbering.


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