I recently watched one of the greatest movies of all time. It’s one of those rare films that I can watch more than once. Superbly acted and superb music...but most of all the message and lessons learned.
The movie is the Academy Award winner for Best Picture in 1984..Amadeus.
Before I begin analyzing it..Here is a broad outline.
In the mid 1700s Austria was at the center of European culture and music.
The court composer in Vienna at the time was a man named Salieri...and this whole movie is narrated from his perspective in an insane asylum some 30 years after these events were alleged to have happened.
How did he end up there?
As a young boy in Italy he was raised in a strict home and could not follow his life passion, music.
One day he made a deal with God that if he finds a way to go to music school he’ll dedicate his life to him.
The next morning his father died.
He was off...and became an accomplished musician and composer. He also kept his promise to God. He was also a deeply religious man and viewed music as a gift from God and musicians as Godly vehicles in this world.
In 1758 a boy was born in Salzberg that would take the world by storm. An absolute musical genius of legendary proportions. By the time he was 4 he was performing for kings. At 8 he wrote his first full symphony and at 12 his first opera.
His name was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
When he came to visit Vienna it was the talk of town and Salieri went to see this divinely gifted young man.
What he saw shocked him to the core. A vulgar, immature, haughty and immoral young man churning out song after song of such genius and longing. This made him intensely jealous, which led him to become angry. Naturally his anger turned to God. The one that gave him his gift, which suddenly seemed mediocre compared to Mozarts (see movie clip).
A few months later Mozart made a mockery of one of Salieris pieces in front of the Emperor. He became enraged.
How can a just God tease him this way??
Why give such a gift to someone so undeserving??
Whereas I devoted my life to you..to celibacy..only to be treated like this??
And so..from that moment on he devotes his life to Mozarts destruction and through that, enact vengeance on God himself.
(The acting of F Murray Abraham (he won the Oscar for his part) is really great.)
The movie ends with an elaborate plot to kill Mozart who ends up dying under mysterious circumstances while writing a Requiem which had been commisioned by a mysterious benefactor (Salieri).
He was 36 years old and composed over 600 pieces of music during his life.
Here’s what I’ve been thinking...
I think, what brought down Salieri was his close relationship with God.
I think that having an intimate relationship with God can sometimes be nothing but a trap and in fact you could be the furthest possible from him at that moment.
Gaaveh, haughtiness is an expansion of the ME.
The sense of self.
The bigger it gets, the more, more of the world revolves around you, the haughtier you become.
It can get so big that it swallows up God himself.
The world sooo revolves around you that when things fall into place, you start to relate to God in a more intimate way BECAUSE he’s so good to you. You start to feel "spiritual".
But in reality it’s all a trap, you feel good because your ME suddenly encompasses God himself!
Thus when God suddenly “betrays” you, you feel anger and betrayed. Just like a jilted lover feels that intense love turn into intense hatred.
But it’s really your sense of entitlement and your own selfishness that forged this “God” in your own image.
That’s when you need to pick up the pieces, humble yourself and find the real God.