Most movies about artists tend to be dull and uninspired, portraying the subject of the film far less interesting than his or her work. Amadeus, however, is an exception. It is a fairly well known film by Peter Shaffer on Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's life with a very interesting dramatic story. Amadeus covers the time that Mozart spent mostly in Vienna, the musical center of Europe at the time. The film chronicles Mozart's triumphs and failures as viewed by the film's protagonist and most complex character, Antonio Salieri, who was Court Composer to Emperor Franz Joseph II of Austria. .
Amadeus begins in the 1820s, with an aging Antonio Salieri screaming "Mozart! I killed you!" and attempting suicide. After being taken to a mental hospital, Salieri is visited by a priest who comes to hear Salieri's confession, and it is this confession that forms the film's narrative and the root of Salieri's agony. Before telling his confession, Salieri plays for the priest a few of his own musical pieces on the harpsichord. However, although years before these musical pieces had been nothing but popular and famous, they were now completely unrecognized by the priest. Salieri then starts playing Mozart's "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik," which the priest recognizes instantly. It is then that Salieri realizes that he was once a famous composer, but has now slipped into obscurity while Mozart, the genius long dead, has achieved musical immortality.
The film spans the life of the protagonist, Antonio Salieri, who has desired, since he was a child, to be a great composer. As a boy and later as a young man, Salieri is deeply religious with an equally deep love for music. His greatest desire in life is to serve and praise God through his music. As he composes musical pieces, he looks up at a crucifix and thanks God when he completes a phrase. Salieri is content with his talent and status as Court Composer for Emperor Franz Joseph II.