“Salieri- Patron Saint of Mediocrities! […] I absolve you all.”
40 years ago this month, Peter Shaffer encapsulated the frustration of mediocrity beside the sublime with his theatrical masterpiece, ‘Amadeus’, which was adapted into a groundbreaking film, directed by Milos Forman in 1984.
Following the turmoil of forgotten composer, Antonio Salieri, as he discovers the music of none other than Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, an intense hatred towards him is ignited, waging war against the “mouthpiece of God.” From interfering with Mozart’s wife to plotting murder, Salieri stops at almost nothing to take revenge on the God who he believes has abandoned him in favour of Mozart.
However, what sets this play apart is the full integration of the music into the plot, Mozart’s own music ironically being used to accompany Salieri’s downfall, trying to get as close as possible to the glory of a prodigy, but ultimately falling into oblivion.
Watch the trailer for the 1984 film adaptation below: