“Amadeus” is a movie directed by Miloš Forman, who released it in 1984.
This movie is about a famous composer Amadeus Mozart, however, the genre is a fictional biography. While the movie is about Mozart, the screenplay is fiction and the complex character of Mozart, who is hard-working yet childish, through mise en scene. The director of “Amadeus” skillfully applied film techniques to establish at the atmosphere of the eighteen century Vienna and managed to depict the story of a speculated murder is a comedic manner.
The mise en scene of this movie, or the general setup and use of varied elements, is suitable for the time period that this movie depicts. For example, most of this film’s scenes are shot in rooms that resemble a palace, with gold decoration and furniture. The characters, including Mozart, are wearing wigs and costumes, for example, the women are always dressed in dresses. Notably, Mozart’s wig is always messy, which further helps separate this character from others and shows his childlike attitude towards everything.
There are several close shots, which are used to shoot a character’s face or a close up of an object, for instance, the candles that are blown out when Mozart dies, which help support the dramatic mood of the narrative. Wide-angle shots, or shots that depict an entire scene of orchestra performances and dances held by the emperor. Notably, “Amadeus’ ‘ creators used flashbacks, which are events of the past, as an important element to set the scene and to depict Mozart’s talent development, showing him playing the piano at a very young age with his eyes closed. One can spot recurring motifs in different shots that help a viewer comprehend the atmosphere of that time, such as balls or gatherings at the emperor’s palace. Diegetic or emanated sound is used in many scenes, when Mozart, Salieri, or the orchestra perform. Hence, the soundtrack of the film is an important part of the narrative.
Overall, “Amadeus” is a masterpiece that combines the tragedy of a composer’s death with a comedic atmosphere. Although this movie is fiction, the director manages to convince the viewer that the events are a reality but setting a proper mise en scene. The types of angles and shots help convey the atmosphere, and the costumes of the characters and decorations create an appropriate setup for the eighteenth-century Vienna.