|Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart in ''Casablanca''|
Directed by: Michael Curtiz
Country: United States
Main cast: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains, Conrad Veidt, Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, Dooley Wilson
Genres: Romantic drama, War
Rating: 5 out of 5
I don't have enough words to describe how I felt about ''Casablanca''. I loved it? No. It was more than that. It was much, much more than that! I absolutely fell in love with ''Casablanca''. Seriously, it's one of the greatest movies I have ever seen. The compelling film has one of the best screenplays of the 1940s, some of the most memorable dialogues, some extremely memorable characters, a wonderful direction by Michael Curtiz, and last but not the least, wonderful acting from such stars as Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, and Claude Rains.
The film is set in French Morocco. During the World War II, many people have escaped from Europe to Casablanca, French Morocco, from where they are waiting for exit visa to America. Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart), a man with a past revealed in course of the film, runs a nightclub and gambling dean. News reaches that two German couriers have been murdered. A man named Ugarte tells Rick to keep letters of transit, which has apparently been obtained by murdering the couriers. However, soon Ugarte is arrested and later dies mysteriously.
German Major Strasser (Conrad Veidt) arrives in Casablanca. It is known that Victor Laszlo, a Czech Resistance leader, will be arriving in Casablanca in order to go to America. Strasser orders to make sure that Laszlo cannot leave America.
Laszlo (Paul Heinrid) arrives, and with a twist, brings his wife, Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman), with him. It is revealed that while Rick had been in Paris, Ilsa and Rick had had an affair, and Rick didn't even have the slightest idea that Ilsa was married. They were supposed to go to Casablanca together, but on the date when they were going to leave, Ilsa left for him a short letter, informing him that she can't go with him- and that she can't explain the reason. Why hadn't Ilsa, during their short affair, let Rick know that she was married? Why, why, why, did she make a promise and then broke it? Why did it all happen?
But meanwhile there are other problems as well. Laszlo HAS TO leave Casablanca for the safety of Ilsa and himself. And the way he can get out are the Letter of Transit, which were originally intended to be sold to him. On the other hand, the Gestapos are also after Laszlo.
The film has got some very compelling performances. Humphrey Bogart, for example, listed as the greatest American male star of all time by the American Film Institute (AFI), brings the character of Rick to life. We feel a lot of sympathy for the character. Ingrid Bergman as Ilsa, oh, how very amazing! These two amazing stars bring the sweetness between the relationships to life. Paul Heinrid as Victor Laszlo is no less remarkable. Oh, Claude Rains! Playing the very odd Captain Louis Renault (and being nominated for an Oscar for this role), he gives another great performance.
The screenplay, based on the unpublished stage play Everybody Comes to Rick's, is absolutely fascinating and filled with lots of memorable dialogues. For example, ''We'll always have Paris.'' is such a very memorable dialogue.
One of the main themes of ''Casablanca'' is that many things happen in our life, that remains in our memories forever. Many beautiful things happen in our life, and many of those beautiful moments we will lose. But yet, life goes on. And we often can't go back to the past. We have to live, if we want, sometimes looking back at those memories.
Wonderful movie, a great masterpiece, a favorite film! :)
5 out of 5