AMADEUS

amadeus

Overall Impression – An impressive film, can’t get enough of it. One of the best movies of the famous composer, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, ever made… in my opinion.

THE FOUR QUESTIONS

Who’s your main character? — Salieri

What’s he trying to accomplish? – Professional: Prove that he’s a superior musician to Mozart.  Personal: Destroy Mozart’s and prevent him from getting a job at the court. Private: Punish God by destroying His creation, Mozart.

Who’s trying to stop him? – God (according to Salieri)

What happens if he fails? — Salieri will be a frustrated composer who will always feel that he’s a mediocre failure.

THE FOUR ARCHETYPES

Orphan — Salieri is an unhappy child. He wants to be a great composer. His father, however, doesn’t allow him to study music and so, Salieri prays to God to make him a great composer.

Wanderer — Salieri’s wish is granted, according to himself. His father dies and Salieri travels to Vienna to study music. Some years later, he becomes the court composer of Emperor Joseph of Austria. Salieri is happy being a famous composer, until he meets Mozart.  He recognizes in Mozart real genius, and tries to figure out how channel and control Mozart without letting on to the rest of the court that Mozart’s music is superior to his own. 

 Warrior – Salieri is angry at God because He gave not him, but “a monkey”, the bigger musical gift.  It is as if God is laughing at him!  From now on, he and God are enemies. He decides to destroy God’s creation by first ordering a beautiful requiem from Mozart and then kill him. During Mozart’s funeral he then will perform this requiem under his own name so the whole world will know that he, Salieri, is the greatest composer that ever lived!

Martyr — As Mozart lies dying, Salieri helps him work on his Requiem, seemingly softening on and almost willing to give up his vengeance (the martyr moment), showing a real tenderness and appreciation to the man and his talent that he’s destroying.  Still, it’s not enough and Mozart dies.  Many years later, now an old man, Salieri tries to kill himself, asking Mozart for forgiveness. He adored Mozart, it was God he hated!

AND, IN THE END…

I have seen this movie so many times since it came out many years ago and never realized that it is in fact about Salieri and his struggle with God. It’s however great to see how Mozart does his tricks, like hearing a musical piece only once and then performing it even better than Salieri wrote it in the first place! And what about the scene in which he improvises on a given melody in the style of other composers; beautiful!

– André van Haren

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