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Amadeus Biopic

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  • March 2013
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Amadeus
Milos Forman’s movie Amadeus produced in 1984 is both great as far as theatrics go and telling a story, but ultimately rather portrays an inaccurate depiction of Mozart’s life. Told from the flash back perspective of an aged Antonio Salieri in an insane asylum to a priest for a confession, the movie reveals Antonio's introduction to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, his professional career with Mozart, and his bitter rivalry and betrayal of Mozart. The film depicts an inaccurate account of Mozart’s life but still delivers on the pieces which he composed.

Throughout the film, we’re exposed to what are clearly historical inaccuracies. I understand that this film is an adaptation of the original Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus performed on Broadway in the 1980’s and for purely theatrical purposes to endow the story with a plot, these changes had to either be implemented or just purely fabricated in order for the story to make sense. However, some of the erroneous interpretations of Mozart’s life are just impossible to ignore for anyone who even had even the simplest understanding of his life, such as myself. The predominant trait of Mozart that stuck out to me like a sore thumb was his high pitched cackling laughter. The movie’s laugh for Amadeus was constructed from letters that referenced Mozart having an “infectious, giddy laugh” much like “metal scraping glass” according to Forman. However, Robert L. Marshall, author of “Film as Musicology: Amadeus,” discredits this notion as there were no citations that provided the existence of such letters. Since Mozart lived over two centuries ago, there’s no possible way to know exactly how he sounded. However, the brilliant Mozart in the film is supposed to be Gods creature (The Latin translation of Amadeus translates to “lover of God” or “beloved by God”) that usurps the mediocre Salieris position as the “voice of God.” So in effect, his laugh is God mocking Salieri in his mediocrity which further drives the frustration and...

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