Rock me, no wait, I'm sure someone's used that already..
I hope I haven't waited too long to review this one. I saw it probably a month ago during the short run of the Director's cut at one of the local art houses. I don't know that there's any particular reason I've waited so long other than it just not being at the forefront of my mind for this time.
There's no doubt this is a good film, even a great one - its reputation is pretty well known, but I hadn't seen it before, and so the impact of the differences in the Director's cut was beyond me. I can say it felt long - in the sense of spending time and not rushing things, not in the I-couldn't-wait-for-it-to-be-over sense.
The story is told through the eyes of one of Mozart's contemporary rivals - though Mozart is oblivious of this rivalry. The rival is Salieri, a court composer who sees Mozart's brilliance as a threat, or at least a reminder that his own music was unlikely to stand the test of time.
So we have a bit of a costume drama on our hands, though not without relief - Mozart is played up as a bit of a buffoon, rather full of himself, a bit of a party guy and womanizer, but otherwise oblivious and innocent.
Salieri sabotages Mozart when he can, and the film goes on a limb to suggest Salieri had a part in the death of Mozart. With the buffoonery and other dramatic enhancements, the film falls flat as an attempt at exploring a historical figure. This decisions are purely made for commercial reasons - not too surprising these days - yet there is some attempt at accuracy. It's just accuracy tends to lose out to more broadly appealing things such as making it easier for the whole audience to understand what's going on.
I'm mixed on this. It pretends very hard to be accurate and realistic, and probably is pretty successful in convincing people, which is unfortunate.
Still, it is a lovely costume piece, all the moments feel good, and some of the acting is tremendous. This one is highly recommended in terms of character and setting, but just keep your speculation sensor turned on as you watch.
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