. They have chosen the World War II and occupied Europe as the background of a desperate search for pure and true feeling. They are Rick Blaine, a phony cynic, and naive amorous Ilsa Lund.
With the beginning of the Second World War many…
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Then by train, car or on foot through North Africa in Casablanca, French Morocco. Here, the lucky ones, thanks to money or friends, could get exit visas and run further, in Lisbon and thence to the New World. Others had to wait in Casablanca. Victor and Ilsa tried to get out of Casablanca by all means, because Gestapo trailed them and Major Strasser has arrived to the city. With the support of the Prefect of Police, Captain Renault, Strasser tries to block Laszlo’s path to freedom. In this complex situation, it appears that the only person who can help the Laszlos is Rick.
Everything is clear with the first character, Rick Blaine. Hiding under the guise of fictitious skepticism and indifference he stays the inspired fighter for justice. It’s much harder with Ilsa Lund. On the one hand, it seems she is naive, trusting and maybe even spineless, if we look at how torn she is between two men. On the other hand, she has tragic experience and has a strong moral compass. Behind her crystal clear purity we see hiding pain of loss, when she was losing one beloved man after another. Michael Curtiz was the one who tried to understand that complex psychological drama of the characters and make that story appealing. The general set-up is clear, but lets add to all this the bloody war, human struggle, nobility, dignity, faith and you will get Casablanca - the film that became the genuine classic of cinematograph. This romantic drama does not reflect the realities of war, but gives a general feeling that prevailed in the American and European societies at that time.
Films are not called the classics just for nothing. Curtiz’s film has all the most faithful reasons to be one. Behind the apparent truism (or even banality) we see a hidden socio-political conflict, which does not spoil the movie; instead it raises it to another level. The problems of three little people don’t really amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. Love or
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