‘Casablanca’ delivers exceptional emotion, drives action throughout film

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Photo credit: Pixabay

Karely Molina Martinez staff writer 

There’s a reason that “Casablanca” is one of the best classic films in the industry. Composed of action, drama, romance and thrill, the film keeps its audience on the edge of their seats waiting for what protagonist Rick Blaine will do next.

Rick Blaine (portrayed by Humphrey Bogart) and Ilsa Lund (portrayed by Ingrid Bergman) were both madly in love in Paris. But, both had gone their separate ways and had not seen one another for years, until the moment where Ilsa strolls into “Rick’s Café Americain,” leaving Rick to wonder why, “of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine?” But, Ilsa does not walk in alone. Isla and her husband, Victor Lazzo (portrayed by Paul Henreid ) were seeking a way to earn their visa in hopes of traveling to America. With Rick holding extremely important transportation letters, everyone around him is desperate to get their hands on them, even the police. Rick is faced with a troubling decision: put his past behind him and help his friend Ilsa get to America with her husband, or do whatever possible to gain back her love. 

With a strong, bold and dangerous personality, Rick Blaine is admired by all around him and holds power over many of them. His cafe in Casablanca, Morocco—named Rick’s Cafe Americain—is home to all, hosting both German and French soldiers. Based around the time of World War II, tension constantly filled the café. In order to switch between dramatic and comedic scenes, director Michael Curtiz relied on fluid camera movements, which drag the viewers across the cafe between high tension arrests and romantic songs at the piano. The smooth transitions between the scenes allows “Casablanca” to be placed as both a drama and a romance. 

Curtiz successfully manages to transition between these scenes various times throughout the film. After a suspenseful conversation between Blaine and Lazzo, the camera transitions out and over to a group of German soldiers proudly singing “Die wacht am Rhein” in German. Victor Lazzo raises the bar by gathering all the other French soldiers and customers to sing La Marseillaise in French. This successful scene is just a taste of Michael Curtiz’s directing style which helped make “Casablanca” the film it is today. Apart from transition techniques, the story behind “Casablanca” is one to touch many people’s hearts. 

As viewers get deeper into the film, secrets are revealed which will leave many shocked. Specific scenes also bring the film together as each element is successfully portrayed through arrests, romantic piano songs, and flashbacks of the war. These elements help categorize “Casablanca” as a film industry classic. Overall, the film does an amazing job of telling its story. From the beginning to end, not one detail is left behind and as the plot begins to unfold, the viewers become more and more surprised by the elements incorporated by writers, Julius and Phillip Epstein

“Casablanca” is one of the best classic films and should be viewed by all who get the chance. Its unique combination of different genres will appeal to all audiences and its distinct action scenes will be difficult to forget. The film is entertaining, catching the viewers attention from the very beginning, to the very last scene.  Not only does “Casablanca” leave viewers with unforgettable scenes and moments, but iconic quotes from the film are yet to be forgotten. 

“Here’s looking at you kid.”

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