Directed by: Michael Curtiz
Genre: Romance, Drama, War.
The story happened in Morocco, Casablanca during the WWII, where most people are refugees of war, hoping to get an exit visa to get to America. A man named Rick an American expatriate owns a nightclub called “Rick’s Café Américain” secretly kept two exit visa pass to Lisbon, that was left to him by Ugarte who murdered two German couriers to obtain and planned to sell it to Victor Laszlo a Czech Resistance Leader and his wife who will visit the club that night.
As the couple arrives in the club, Ilsa Lund asked Sam a pianist to play “As time goes by” for old time sake she said, although Sam is reluctant he played it as she insists. Rick heard Sam is performing the song went to him and got really mad until he sees Ilsa his former lover in Paris, who broke his heart a year ago realizing she is the one who made Sam play the forbidden song.
A German Major Strasser visited Casablanca to make sure Victor Laszlo will not get an exit pass to get to the United States. Strasser suspected that Rick has the exit pass in his club as they did not find the letter of transit from Ugarte when he was arrested. Finding out that Ugarte was arrested and was killed Victor and Ilsa went to Ferrari to seek help in getting a Visa for the two of them, but refuses to provide two but made sure he can get one only for Ilsa, but he gave them a tip that Rick must have the letter of transit that was stolen from the two German couriers that were murdered by Ugarte.
Rick refuses to help the couple and told Victor to ask his wife, Ilsa then confronted him, pointed a gun at him to get the Letter of transit by force, Rick told her that she is giving him a favor, encouraging her to shoot him so she can get what she needs, she broke down and cry and so Rick gave her the chance to explain why she stood him in the train station. When the Germans marched in to occupy France Ilsa learns that her husband Laszlo was alive and that she must stay to help his injured husband. Ilsa asks Rick to give Victor the Visa to exit and she will stay with him as she still loves him and regrets what she did to him a year ago.
I am happy to rate this classic movie 5 stars, not only the movie is about true love, but it will also give you an idea how important it is to sacrifice one’s happiness to do much greater things and worth fighting for. The Movie was filmed before the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 07, 1941; during that period America remains neutral and not quite sure if they will enter the war or not, like Rick Blain He sticks his neck out to nobody until Ilsa walks into his nightclub with her husband for some reason unexpected they’d crossed paths again. It may look dramatic in a way because of the involvement of the two protagonists in the story, the bitterness of Rick to Ilsa that made him selfish, the regrets Ilsa has felt when she left him to be with his husband knowing that she really loves him, the song that will make you cry and break your heart because of the nostalgic look of Ilsa As time goes by is being played by Sam and no one can play it better than him, the conflict of War that drove them apart but ironically also the main reason why they met in Paris, to begin with.
Why it is one of the greatest movies of all time? not only they filmed it during the height of the WWII, not only they chose Humphrey Bogart as Rick Blaine and Ingrid Bergman as Ilsa Lund, but because the story has a lot of important themes that have manifested in the movie which is even more interesting to watch. Each of the characters one has to play is very significant to one another, their role might be small but one has acted so remarkably and has given their best shot.
All scenes were synchronized to one another like they are dancing, moving, advancing its plot in a right time. But what makes it considered as one of the greatest classics, in my opinion, Director Michael Curtiz knows how to make an emphasis on the most important details of the picture, but was not aware it will be iconic scenes, like when Ilsa stepped in to the saloon with her husband and asked Sam to Play the song ” As time goes by”, when Rick was alone in the dark drinking all his misery and cynicism ” If she can stand it I can” he said to Sam and played the song for his boss, and while Rick is being tortured by its melody he said one of the iconic quotes ” of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world she walks in to mine”, as the camera captures the heartbreaking expression on his face he started reminiscing time he spent with Ilsa in Paris till the time she broke his heart at that train station, then she broke the silence as she arrived as expected by Rick, and of course the last scene that is considered to be one of the heartbreaking and most notable of all the scenes in Casablanca that is when Rick finally decides to let go of her and fight for the better good.
Casablanca was one of the greatest because all the elements needed to that film are all present. The characters show significant development as it progresses making it more clear to the audiences the value of the film, why they made those decisions? why Ilsa chose to break Rick’s heart, why sacrificing true love is more important in this film? Why someone has to leave? well for me the questions were all answered and it ended the way it should end it broke my heart too when he let her go to be with Victor but there is no other good ending than that, it won’t be Iconic it won’t be a classic if they ended it otherwise.