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Amadeus: Movie Review Example

3 pages
599 words
Sewanee University of the South
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Amadeus is a film that was produced and aired in 1984. The theme and story behind this film revolves around music, with the main rivalry circling between the two protagonists carrying a musical approach. Amadeus was originally produced both as a film and as a play. However, it is only on the screen that the music used produces a true sense of ambiance and texture. This document, therefore, seeks to provide a brief summary of the film, along with the musical history that is experienced all through the film.

First and foremost, as opposed to the play, it is much easier for music to flow within a film, as compared to a play. Besides, when very long stretches of music are incorporated in a play, it is more likely to change the drama and appear more as a concert. This is unlike the film where music is always welcome in plenty (Branagh 105-109).In the film Amadeus, music has not been used in the background as would be expected, a situation that would help accentuate joy or grief, or any other emotion that is expressed in the film. In this case, music becomes a character in itself and by far the most important character.

Mozart, a character in the film, is one that can be described as a musical genius, a character that evokes jealousy in Shaffer. From his perspective, the incomparability of Mozart lies greatly in the achievements he has accomplished: this leads him into thinking that no work that has been accomplished by Mozart can be re-written without changing the intended message.

Through the praise and worship accorded to Mozart due to undeniable talent, Shaffer finds his music as an evocative aural symbol that represents divinity and that is equivalent to the images of the horse and the sun which he experienced in this early plays (Branagh 105-109).

Nevertheless, there exists a court society within Amadeus which does not recognize Mozarts music as exceptional, but instead, it portrays it as showy (meaning Mozart uses it as a platform just to parade his talent and achievement) and vulgar. However, according to Shaffer, Mozarts music is a symbol of true and perfect masterpieces created by a composer who not only loves music, but does is out of sheer passion, happiness, and growth. Therefore, as portrayed by Shaffer, Mozarts music represents the voice of a god

In addition, Mozart uses operas which he carefully integrates to help viewers understand the plot better. In other words, they are not just mere ornaments meant to give the film an authentic feature. They serve as Mozart-Salieri instruments of rivalry. Besides, Mozart uses them to solidify his position as the best composer the world has ever seen. Still, he uses Salieri to harm and demean his rival, by turning his work against him (Branagh 105-109).

For this reason, the tunes and elements portrayed by the operas play a significantly important and symbolic function all through the film. From the very start of the fil, Don Giovanni makes use of dramatic opening cords that carry a message of despair and fear. These are first heard just within the opening sequence where Salieri (still in the darkness) shouts Mozarts name begging and crying for his forgiveness.


In conclusion, Amadeus portrays a classic film with a musical theme and character and one that used the beauty of music to pass a message to the viewers. Nonetheless, musical films have since continued to be produced and will always be an interesting film category within the filming industry.


Work Cited

Branagh, Kenneth. Beginning. New York: Norton 1990: pp. 105109.


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