Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Mozart! Mozart, forgive your assassin! I confess, I killed you...

No 136 - Amadeus
Director - Peter Shaffer

Right, first things first...

Sorry - that has been in my head for hours. HOURS

But, on to the film itself.... as we learn the life of Mozart. However, this review is going to be shallow as a puddle in a drought. I mean we've already begun it with Falco, but I also want to discuss just how much I love the Georgian period. Everything from my hero to the town I currently live in was made brilliant by the Georgian period.
The clothes. The decor. The sheer opulence of it all. I wish, beyond wish that I was a rich Georgian man.

Amadeus is probably the most beautiful and sumptuous film I have watched on this list since Russian Ark - and whilst Mozart's wig seems a bit too bouffant or a bit too '80's - it is all countered out by the occasional moments of sheer sartorial genius. I mean just look at Jeffrey Jones, hero of the 80's and 90's (though definitely NOT a current day hero - such a crushing shame when legends become involved in bad and horrible things) and Emperor of Vienna. His opera suit is particularly boss.

However, as we move on, what I found was a film which manages to zip along at a pace which defies the fact it is close to 3 hours long. I think it is helped by the fact that it is a series of events interspersed by performances of Mozart's operas. There are enough changes of tone and changes of style to keep the film fresh and interesting.
I think this is important as Tom Hulce plays Mozart perfectly as an obnoxious and arrogant ass with the single most grating laugh in the world. If we spent too long following him we would go mad. As mad as Salieri ends up going over the course of the film... It means we can never trust Hulce's performance, it isn't accurate. It isn't supposed to be an accurate portrayal of Mozart. This is the legend told by a man who despised him. Respected him massively. But grudgingly.

All the performances are perfect, spinning a rich and wonderful story of two composers declining, one physically and one mentally. Not even the frankly cack handed shonky accent work manages to spoil the entertainment.

However, for me.... the real joy were the moments of opera. I understand the personal irony in this, because I hate opera. I have sat through many (including bloody CLASSICS) and I have never really enjoyed them. Yet, as we watch the performances in Amadeus I find my self utterly captivated. Maybe it is the opulence of the set or maybe it is just the extra nuances that cinema is able to add to the occasion.
This film finally made me sit up and take notice of Mozart's music. Has to be said.... it is beautiful.
I have picked this as my highlight

I am a sucker for big choral epic pieces of music.

You see... whilst the story and acting is superb, this is really a film for the eyes and ears. The music sounds beautiful... and it looks an absolute treat.

Surely... those two shallow reasons are good enough a recommendation for ANYONE.