Amadeus

April 18, 2010
"Are we going to appall you with something confidential and disgusting? Let's hope so, because that is what you really like - unconfessed crimes of buried wickedness. If that is what brings you to us, the prospect of hearing horrors, you shall not go unrewarded". What a way to begin a film. I didn't know what to expect of Amadeus, but I came out of the film with such euphoria, emotion, and absolute adoration for this film. A very incredible film showcasing the life and death of a very incredible man - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

In Amadeus, we follow the two primary, and richly characterized, protagonists. The first is obviously Mozart himself, a vulgar and eccentric man whose music is compared numerous times to "the voice of God". Our second protagonist - or antagonist depending on one's outlook - would be Antonio Salieri, a religiously devout composer who has become jealous of Mozart's popularity. From the film's quiet first moments to its bitter ending, these characters envelop us into the narrative and both are so incredibly strong characters. In fact, though some may disagree, it's possible to even find the shrewd Salieri to be a likable figure.

I can't praise this film's use of characterization enough. There aren't any weak characters in the film, as literally each individual remains a strong component in the tangled web of Amadeus. From the Italian composers to Mozart himself, these characters truly come to life thanks to some rich performances and an absolutely fantastic script.

As if the amazing characters of this film weren't enough, literally every aspect of the film is just as fantastic. The visuals, for example, just look so beautiful. Framed shots, fantastic use of light and dark lighting, spectacular camerawork - the film is just incredibly sweet to look at. There aren't rough cuts or edits, everything that happens onscreen is given a grace and elegance about it. Even the little details such as costume design really make these visuals stand out, and the overall effect heavily adds to the tone and mood set by the film.

The pacing in the film is very much worthy of praise as well, as the whole narrative just sweeps along at this light and fair pace. It's ironic that the film's about composers and operas, as the film's pacing feels remarkably operatic. Everything just feels right, with each new piece of the film fitting with the rest like a carefully-laden puzzle piece.

And, of course, there's the legendary soundtrack that is the work of Mozart. Each piece is just so breathtaking and thoughtful, and it's easy to see why Mozart's music could be compared to a god's voice. I won't dwell on this matter too much, as I'm sure there are plenty of papers and research articles dedicated to singing the praises of Mozart's music. I will say, however, that Salieri's comment on Mozart's music is just spot-on - "displace one note and there would be diminishment".

This is simply a miraculous film. Characters, music, pacing, visuals - every quality of the film is just so rich in its splendorous execution. It may suffer from the occasional pacing hiccup, but the film is virtually flawless in every single way. It's practically perfect. If one added anything, it would diminish the work. If one cut anything out, the structure may not be as strong. From the very beginning, Amadeus proves to be an enchanting and fascinating character piece that'll leave the viewer hooked and hungry for more as the film progresses.





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