Mozart composed at the age of five and was engaged as a court musician at the age of 17. He composed over 600 works, many acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, operatic, and choral music. (Source: Wikipedia) Such accomplishments would have made Gods seethe with envy, and Saliere was just a human and a music fanatic! It’s this point on which the movie ‘Amadeus’ takes-off.
Adapted from a stage play, based on a Viennese ‘urban’ legend, the movie delivers a ‘wow’ cinematic experience.
The movie is told from the eyes of Salieri, a contemporary of Mozart, who is a devout and music fanatic, and struggling to rise above his mediocre musical talent even when he is appreciated in the royal court. His life is turned upside down the moment Mozart re-enters his life, and in that fateful moment he realizes instantly that Mozart is all that he could never be. That feeling unearths all that is bad in him and throws him in a cauldron of jealousy and hatred, bringing damnation to himself and Mozart. It is this point view of story telling that gives a unique pleasure in watching the movie, with each scene turning into a duel between the hero and the villain(?) and culminate in the way they are meant to be, each leaving to new new abodes that befit them.
Murray Abraham as Salieri, gives a brilliant portrayal of the torment and ambivalence that the character undergoes, all the while making us believe that his biggest tribute to Mozart was his hatred for him. Tom Hulce as Mozart complements Abraham’s performance and makes their combination scenes near perfect.
‘Amadeus’ won eight Academy Awards in 1985 , including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Actor for Murray Abraham. The movie is worth every bit of its fame and critical acclaim.
Director Milos Forman and Writer Peter Shaffer, use Mozart’s music and combine pieces from his operas and symphonies, to create a new form of musical storytelling that even Mozart might have been proud of .
Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s ‘Abhimaan’