Though now completed with 20 minutes Forman had to trim from the original 1984 release, this cut is substantially the same movie. So how does the multiple Oscar-winning adaptation of Peter Shaffer's play stand up? In some respects, this ideas-driven drama, unfolding at a leisurely pace and guided by the thrust and counter-thrust of literate dialogue, is a relic from a more enlightened age. A lavish costume piece where classical music is the star and the subject is God-given genius as a catalyst for joy, jealousy and misunderstanding. Sheer craftsmanship is the film's key strength. The framing device in which institutionalised former Viennese court composer Salieri (Abraham) confesses to the 'murder' of Mozart (Hulce) elegantly shapes a potted biography of the prodigiously gifted Wolfgang Amadeus, all the while deftly inscribing the torment of a man whose musicianly estimation of the scandalously under-appreciated Mozart made his own success resoundingly empty. With its painterly camerawork, Prague locations and glorious soundtrack, the overall effect is hugely impressive, yet the film somehow fails to excite any rush of emotion.
Cast and crew
|Cast:||F Murray Abraham