Feb 5/12

For the Love of God...

Amadeus (1984) is one of the greatest movies ever, in my opinion. It centers on Antonio Salieri, who is a mediocre composer, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who of course might be the greatest - and knows it.

Salieri is bitter because he thought he'd made a deal with God: Salieri would devote his life to music and shun vices in return for musical greatness. Well, Salieri feels he's lived up to his part. Yet, God has instead bestowed musical genius on the "obscene child" who is Amadeus Mozart.

Salieri's anger festers as he dwells on Mozart's greatness and his own comparative musical impotence. Yet, Salieri is the one who has a successful career, being a court musician to a wealthy patron. Salieri's own patron - and most other people - can't tell the difference between Mozart's great music and Salieri's mediocre compositions. However, musicians can. Salieri is humiliated by the fact that his own peers know he is a dim candle compared to the Amadeus supernova.

Salieri plots revenge - on God! At the same time, Amadeus writes fantastic music while laughing up a storm at his own vulgar jokes. His laughter burns Salieri at the core.

The characters are larger than life; the movie is exhilarating.

Here's Amadeus, in one of his fine laughing sprees.


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Back