Review of the film The Immortal Beloved

After this, Ludwig and Casper’s relationship was increasingly strained, and Ludwig continuously referred to Johanna as a whore, even going so far as to attempt to have her arrested. The implication was that the reason why he wanted her arrested was because she was a whore, and he burst into the room when Johanna and Casper were lying naked. The movie also portrayed Ludwig as relentlessly pushing his nephew Karl towards music, even though Karl could not play very well and desired to be a soldier. While there is some truth to these complicated relationships that he had with Casper, Johanna and Karl, there are also many inconsistencies with the historical truth, according to Maynard Solomon (1977). According to Solomon, there was some hostility between Ludwig and Casper, due to Casper’s marriage to Johanna, as he wrote my brother’s marriage was as much an indication of his immorality as of his folly (Solomon, 1977, p. 299). Solomon stated that the reason why Ludwig was against the marriage was because Casper and Johanna had premarital sex, as Johanna was pregnant with Casper’s child before they got married. … Solomon stated that Casper did small errands for Ludwig, and that Ludwig actually stated with Casper and Johanna when the French bombarded Vienna in 1809. Solomon also stated that the relationship between the brothers was on and off – After 1812, the brothers were in close contact, which, for them, consisted of furious conflicts alternating with passionate reconciliations (Solomon, 1977, p. 299). Solomon also stated that, in the conflict between the brothers, that Johanna played the part of the peacemaker. This is also in contrast to the film, as Johanna never played the part of the peacemaker, and it appears that her relationship with Ludwig was constantly stormy. In the end, the film stated that Johanna was the immortal beloved in the letter. This is in contrast to Solomon, who stated that, while Beethoven probably did have a secret attraction to Johanna, and theorized that Beethoven took his nephew Karl from Johanna to keep Johanna in his life, there was no indication that Beethoven and Johanna had an affair. The way that Solomon described Beethoven’s attraction to Johanna was that it was unacknowledged, even to himself – Solomon stated that Beethoven’s hostility and apparent hatred towards Johanna was a form of denial for his actual love and attraction for her – Feelings of love that have not yet become manifest express themselves to begin with by hostility and aggressive tendencies (Solomon, 1977, p. 306). This implies that Beethoven never actually stated, even to himself, that he was in love with Johanna, so she probably was not the immortal beloved. As for Beethoven’s relationship with his nephew, there is no indication in Solomon’s writings that Beethoven tried to push young Karl