Casablanca Movie Review
The movie Casablanca tells the story of Rick Blaine, a bar owner in Casablanca. His heart breaks when Ilsa, his sweetheart, fails to join him in his escape from Paris before the Nazis invaded. Rick’s relationship fall-out begins the movie journey depicted in an authentic World War II time period. It was on a stormy night that Rick received a letter from Ilsa telling him that she wouldn’t be coming with him to Casablanca. Realizing he has been dumped, he sadly hops onto the train and rides off to Casablanca by himself. According to Jim Piper, “Films aren’t just about people; they are also about the relationships people make…Often, in fact, a relationship is the movie” (159). It is Rick’s relationships that make this movie.
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Rick and Ilsa ride through Paris by car as well as a boat ride down the Seine. Even the expressions and dialog are true to the era such as "You like war. I like women," and "Here's lookin' at you, kid.” Most telling of the story is the expression “Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine." The French dialogue between Yvonne and the French officer reminds the viewer this is wartime. The well-designed sets of the city make the viewer think they are shot on location. Several times, the camera looks through a wall from the cafe area into Rick's office. The lighting work on these sets is done to mimic the exact lighting of the outside environment and the inside of the buildings, including shadows and dimmer lights. The outside spotlight shines from a tall tower. It lights up the entire city of Casablanca. It is constantly present at Rick’s place, shining in circular motion at his door. One feels like
the entire city is being watched. It is evident that Rick feels Ilsa is also being watched. Even their relationship is watched and must end. Ilsa must escape. Inside, Casablanca shows many techniques of film noir, especially with the use of shadows and lighting. There is much use of low-key lighting. In Rick’s cafe there are a lot of dim lamps but the figures in the room cast sharp shadows. In one scene, where Rick