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Tim Van Someren
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Tim Van Someren
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1984's 'Amadeus', an adaptation of Peter Schaffer's play (a great one and the historical inaccuracies never bothered me), is one of my all-time favourite films (top 10 actually). Wonderfully made with amazing music and one of my favourite best actor performances (F Murray Abraham) ever. Also get a lot of pleasure out of the National Theatre Live productions, not just of Shakespeare but also Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams and various film to stage productions, and make a real effort to see as many as possible and miss very little.
A production of the stage play, this 2017 production of 'Amadeus' is very good and often excellent, with it even being epic theatre at its best. Do prefer the film personally though, though being more familiar with that may have something to do with it, and have seen better National Theatre Live productions. So there was a slight air of disappointment, but that is in comparison and not knocking the very high quality of the production.
The production looks great, especially with the very meaning of lavish costumes. Not just the rich colours but also the immaculate attention to detail. The photography allows the viewer to feel the full impact of the spectacle while not being chaotic that it becomes dizzying. Can find nothing to fault the music, then again it is Mozart, one of the few composers out there who never wrote a bad note. It is beautifully performed by the orchestra and singers and is lovingly conducted, absolutely loved the use and integration of them and their interaction, would go as far to say that was a masterstroke touch.
How the orchestra and singers were used provided a lot of tension and entertainment value, heightening Salieri's envy. The spectacle looks beautiful and proves to be more than striking images, managing too to not over-shadow the drama. The emotion is not lost in any way and Michael Longhurst has a long to thank for this. The supporting cast are all strong, particularly from Geoffrey Beavers and Tom Edden. As Constanze Karla Crome is a marked improvement over Elizabeth Berridge in the film. The tremendously powerful Salieri of Lucian Msamati dominates, rightly too as Salieri is the most interesting character and the most complex.
Did find myself though less sold on Adam Gillen as Mozart. For my tastes he overdid and over-emphasised the immature/humorous aspect of Mozart, and the way he did it was like a Marx Brother in the modern day, it got in the way of the emotional depth. One would not get the sense that he was a complex man. His chemistry with the cast and Msamati was done right though.
Otherwise, albeit it was somewhat of a big drawback, a very good production. 8/10
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