2.19.2006

Mozart - Pugazhendhi - Bharathi



I just have four complete symphonies (25, 28, 29 and 35) of Mozart in my music collection and when I first heard i came to know what is fuss is all about. That is enough samples for one to realize how great a genius he is. Not even a single note goes wrong in his music. Also he is the most popular one among the western classical composers. One may not know anything about western classical music or his composition but would definitely have heard of his name Mozart, The Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. This film Amadeus takes us in a journey through the life of Mozart as seen through the eyes of Mozart’s contemporary composer called Antonio Saleri who admires and envies Mozart’s genius.

While watching this movie, a Tamil TV serial called “Pugazhendhi” (which is about a poet called Ottakoothan trying in all possible ways to destroy much younger and his contemporary poet called Pugazhendhi whose genius he envy) and a Tamil movie on the life on Bharathiyar “Bharathi” (a great revolutionary Tamil Poet who had as pathetic a life as that of Mozart) came to my mind. If we put the plots of these two together, we get the complete script of “Amadeus”. All these being true stories, how on earth all the geniuses have lead such a pathetic life struggling to survive in the materialistic world in search of a penny. I heard even Beethoven had a tragic life and death.

If you are a fan of Mozart, the movie will turn you into a devotee. One would obviously end up crying for the pathetic end that such a genius had. The movie has got enough scenes to portray the genius of Mozart. In scenes like, when Mozart plays the composition of Saleri after roughly hearing it only once and also improvising it to an extent that it cannot be called as a Saleri’s composition anymore and when he explains his new idea for a German opera about an Octet for 20 minutes on Italian “Figaro” to the Emperor. Also as the movie goes with the narration of Saleri about Mozart’s life, the way he admires and praises the beauty and divinity of Mozart’s composition in words (especially in the scene in which he talks about Oboe and the Clarinet taking over in a musical piece, that Mozart has composed and the way he says, “an unwavering single note”) with perfect accompaniment of music in the background leaves you spellbound. The most poignant of all is when Mozart composes his final Requiem on Mass in his deathbed with the help of Saleri. I saw this episode at least twenty times repeatedly. I mean he is just too fast and before Saleri could write the notes on the paper he is ready with his next set of phrases. When finally they play the beautiful composition with lots of layers dictated by Mozart put together in the background, I cannot just stop the overwhelming tears. I saw God in him at that moment (as Saleri says at various moments in the movie).

“Amadeus” is as close to authenticity and perfection as a movie can get (among the movies I have seen the only other movie which can have such a description is “Schindler’s List”). Though it is a true story, it has lot of drama in it that keeps up the pace of the movie. Though it highlights the genius of Mozart, at times Saleri’s jealous and envy takes a slight edge over and is emphasized in the movie. Murray Abraham’s performance (especially in the older role) is one of the best I have seen. He just burns with envy on Mozart and also melts in the beauty of his composition. Watch his expression like controlling his uncontrollable tears when he reads and listens to Mozart’s composition every time. Mozart’s real character is very unlikely. You won’t expect a genius to behave like that. He is always playful with a funny smile on his lips and filthy language in his tongue but when it comes to music he is totally different. He is very proud of his works and with no little modesty he would often say, ‘I am greatest composer in the world”. It was pretty interesting to watch Mozart like that (of course as he was). Tom Hulce has done a pretty good job in the role of Mozart.

No wonder the movie won 8 academy awards. Every aspect of the movie is authentic to the period and place. Who can provide a better background score for this movie than Mozart himself? They have beautifully and carefully used Mozart’s compositions all through the movie befitting the mood of the scenes.

The movie leaves one thought deeply in mind, that the society should acknowledge the geniuses when they are alive. They should be out of this money-for-survival-for-money loop, so that they could concentrate on their work and work alone thereby giving us great music/ poem/ movie/ painting/ novel or whatever it is, continuously or at least let their life to be as peaceful as that of any other ordinary man. But no one acknowledges a genius as a genius when he is alive.

6 comments:

Mumbai Ramki said...

There is one compose in India who saw this movie 37 times ....

Godfather music - Just ok boss ..Thambi is much better than this ..However Kaatril is superb i would say ..GF team is doing good marketing of Audio CDs ......The trailer is also catchy and AJith seems to have given the best .....

Did u hear merury Pookal - Just ok effort from Karthik raja ..except for4 muhurtha neram song and Solla Vaarthaigal .....

I think i would wait for vetyadu Vilayadu (HJ) ,Shivaji(ARR) ,Mayakannadi(IR) and paruththi Veeran(YSR) ..

And illayaraaja is teh composer who saw Amaedus movie 37 times

Suresh Kumar said...

Hi,

That is a news to me. Ofcourse i know IR's obsesseion towards WCM and he watching this movie 37 times is no surprise.

Yeah, GF is okay. But know, i am hooked to a tamil pop album called "Mudhal Mazhayae" by Harish Raghavendra and Devan. Much better than recent TFM albums in recent times. Also listening to another album called "thee". It is also pretty good album from a band called Encore.

Hey, YSR + Vishnuvardhan's "Pattiyal" is releasing soon. It will be my next buy. Also add ARR's Jillunu Oru Kadhal to the list.

Anonymous said...

Hi suresh,
I don't know if there were any similar movies made on Beethoven, but if u haven't listened to this other genious , please give it a try, the worst part in the tragic later life of this Musician was , he was deaf for several of his later years and couldn't listen to what he composed and performed in his last years, ironically the whole world has been listening and will be listening forever.
I was told by one of the music theory teacher, that metroneme for beat cycle timing was actually invented by either him or one of his freinds as he was deaf and could time his beats by just seeing the needle go back and forward

ramki,
where did u get this info on IR having watched Mozart movie 37 times, as IR mentions he never or rarely ever watch movies/TV ( may be not true), on the same note, Ir's reference in most of his interviews about WCM are usually about Mozart

Mumbai Ramki said...

If u read IR 's interview or if u read paal nila pathai ,u can get this info

Suresh Kumar said...

anon:

I do know about Beethoven and heard his compositions. I am searching for the best version of his 9h Symphony. There are so many versions with diff conductors and symphony performance recordings.

Mumbai Ramki said...

Lenoard Bernsteion is the best for 9 th symphony