1001 Movies: Amadeus

From the Couch of Super Koala:

It has been a while since we actually watched this movie, so I’m going to do my best to write a proper review.  Forgive me if I falter.

The first thing I would like to note is that this movie is long.  An even three hours long.  While there is plenty of storyline to fill that three hours, I did not find the progression or development entertaining enough to keep me awake on my couch, unlike Rain Man, so it had to be broken into two viewing sessions.

The story of Amadeus is a fascinating one because it is not about Mozart at all.  Instead, it is about Salieri, a rival composer.  It’s so fascinating to view it from the point of human motivation.  Without a doubt, Salieri is more conventionally successful than Mozart.  He remains well established and in good royal favor throughout the entire movie.  Yet, he knows he has none of Mozart’s natural talent, so he drives him further and further into poverty and social disgrace.  All the while he is successful at convincing Mozart that they are friends and that he would be there for them if ever needed.

I think it’s this facet that makes the movie most interesting and so worthwhile over twenty years later.  There is absolutely no need for Salieri to behave this way.  The film looks very closely at the consuming nature of envy and how twisted that can make a human being.  Conversely, equal time is paid to Mozart, a spirited character motivated mostly by his need for happiness, in one form or another.  The pair make nice foils for each other.

Otherwise, Hulce and Abraham put on excellent performances as the leading men of the story.  I love how bizarre and bubbly Hulce’s Mozart is and the unapologetic portrayal of Abraham’s old man Salieri.  I do pretty strongly hate the lack of accents in all of the character’s portrayals.  I feel like so much is period appropriate and then you have these overt, braying American accents that just make me unhappy and clash with much of the other details.  But Hulce voiced Quasimodo in the Disney version of Hunchback of Notre Dame, so I can forgive him.

While the movie gave me a lot to think about, I wouldn’t say that it’s one I want to repeatedly watch.  For that reason, I have to give it 3 stars.  Great one time viewing, but I could probably live quite happily without rewatching.

From the Chair of Super Koala, this is Captain Spazzmataz:

One word I have for Amadeus is interesting. I never really expected it to be the way it was. I don’t know exactly what I was expecting, but I definitely know it wasn’t that.

First off, I did not like Hulce’s portrayal of Mozart. I was annoyed anytime he spoke. Also, they could have put him through some basic conducting classes or something, because the way he was doing it was just sort of offensive. However much I didn’t like Mozart’s character, I loved Salieri’s. I loved everything about it. Also how he absolutely terrified the priest. That was pretty much the best.

Overall I was entertained, but I agree with Super Koala that three hours is far too many. Two would have sufficed. 3 stars

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One thought on “1001 Movies: Amadeus

  1. Pingback: 1001 Movies We Will Watch Before We Die | The Adventures of Super Koala and Captain Spazzmataz

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