Wild Young Minds: Casablanca

Sunday, February 3, 2013


As time goes by, some movies never lose their magic. 'Casablanca' is one of them. Though not that much happens and the film is only set on a few locations, 'Casablanca' has this thing: it integrates you from beginning until end. Maybe because it not one of those old films that has a perfect ending and it's not extremely happy and cheerful, like many old films are.

'Casablanca' was produced in 1942 by Michael Curtiz. It is set during World War II and stars huge actors Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. The film is about Rick, a cynicle and cold man who owns a succesful bar in Casablanca. The people who go there come from different parts of the world: America, Italy, France and Germany. A lot of Nazi officers come there as well.

Rick isn't impressed by them at all. He isn't interested in politics, he is just the proprietor of a bar. Then one day a man, Victor Laszlo, and a lady, Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman) step in his bar. These two people definitely impress him. Laszlo is a Czech fugitive leader and is sought by the Nazis. They don't want him to leave Casablanca cause he's expect to begin a big revolt against the Nazis in America.

The lady asks Rick's friend and the house pianist Sam to play 'As time goes by'. Rick runs to Sam and is furious. He had ask him never to play that song again. Then he sees Ilsa and he's blown away. There's an evident tension between them. As it turns out, they have been lovers some time ago. Rick was rebelling against the Nazis back then as well. One day the Nazis took over Paris and so Rick and Ilsa had to fly to Casablanca to be safe. On the last moment, Ilsa didn't show up. She left a letter saying that she couldn't go, but she blessed Rick and wished him the best. It turned out her man, who was in a concentration camp, wasn't dead at all. Of course, she didn't tell Rick this when she found out just a bit before they were supposed to go.

Rick, who opened his heart, became bitter and synical in Casablanca. Until Ilsa showed up again. It was obvious they couldn't stop thinking about each other and they met several times to talk things over. I'm not going to tell the entire plot, but what it comes down to, is that Rick had to choose between love and war. Would he stay in Casablanca with Ilsa or would he help Ilsa's husband by giving them the letters Laszlo needed, so that he could continue his work conquering the Nazis?

'Casablanca' is a pure love story, with war on the background. Though I was never a big fan of Humphrey Bogart, he turned out to be pretty fabulous in this film. The reason I didn't like him, was because he was an extreme jerk on the set of 'Sabrina'. He didn't want to work with Audrey Hepburn, because she wasn't good enough for him. But in this movie he's amazing as a cynical though humorous man. He has this thing that integrates you, just like the movie itself. Bitter as he comes off, it turns out he has a heart after all. Ingrid Bergman is very believable as well. Her accent is adorable and I never knew she was that beautiful. Grace Kelly had competition.

Unfortunately, we don't see a lot of Casablanca (how I would love to go there one day!) besides one market, since the film mostly sets in Rick's bar. But this bar has a very cosy ambiance, so it's no big deal. 'Casablanca' has a wonderful title song, which makes you want to go back seventy years in time and sit in Rick's bar, smoking a cigarette and having a drink. The way they talked was pretty amazing as well. Most characters had an accent, since they were supposed to be Scandinavian, French or Czech. Rick, who came from New York, hadn't, but the way he called Isla, 'Kid', makes you wish someone called you that as well ;)

'Casablanca' is magic, full of thrill because of the War and because it tells the story of a great but impossible love. The way love is supposed to be if you ask me. Not impossible, but passionate and tense. Until that happens, let's watch Casablanca. Over and over again.

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