The first time I viewed Amadeus, and that was eons ago, I was absolutely bedazzled, awed and completely swept off my feet by the gripping story, the cinematography, the elaborate costumes, the art direction, the makeup, the magnificent acting of the two leads F. Murray Abraham as Antonio Salieri and Tom Hulce as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and of course the impeccable direction of Milos Forman. But what makes it memorable through the years is the revival of the music of one of the greatest composers the world has ever known and the restaging of his operas. Here, we are treated to a glimpse to some of Mozart's everlasting operas e.g. The Abduction From The Seraglio, The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni and The Magic Flute. This movie gives free lessons on opera and music appreciation. We have to give kudos to Milos Forman, the director and the scriptwriter, Peter Shaffer for faithfully recreating and transporting all of us viewers to 18th century Vienna and Salzburg. This was specifically 1769, the time that Mozart displayed to all and sundry glimpses of his immense talent before the arrogant Archbishop of Salzburg and his court to the year 1791, the year of Mozart's demise and Salieri's confinement in a mental institution.
Both Forman and Shaffer ensured that we, viewers, become a part of the excessive bacchanalian revelries of the aristocrats and people who matter in Austria; the pompous celebration of art, music and culture; that we view the ornate, majestic edifices of the 18th century Austria ruled by the Hapsburg royalty, which at this juncture in time was governed by the highly cultured Emperor Joseph II, the son of Empress Maria Theresa and Francis I and the brother of the ill-fated Marie Antoinette of France. We have to note that this is the heyday of the renaissance and thus, there is rebirth of classical art, literature, learning and architecture in Austria. Swept out of sight are the ways and lifestyles of the impoverished and the commoners. What is imprinted in the viewers minds are the elegance, the regalia of nobility and the ruling class and the sweeping panorama and splendor of an opulent Vienna, the "city of musicians".
This was also the Age of Enlightenment or the Age of Reason. After Europe endured the 'darkness' of the Middle Ages with its preset and rigid traditions, customs, morals and institutions, suddenly the minds of men were 'lightened' by overwhelming reason. Such rationality made men question their traditions, customs and mores. Suddenly "humankind moved forward to understand the natural world and humankinds' place in it solely on the basis of reason.evidence and proof" (Lewis 1992). This concept played a big part in the movie because it