*Note: There will be spoilers in this review*
This classic film takes place during World War II. Where Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) owns a club in Casablanca and unexpectedly runs into his ex, Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman), and her husband, Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid). Her return brings back anger and hurt that he felt when she left him, but it also brings back feelings of love. And Rick is forced to choose between doing what’s best for him or doing the greater good.
Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman’s chemistry is outstanding in the film. They’re the whole reason you’re sucked in and there may never be a movie couple to ever top them – and they don’t even end up together! Both of their performances were simply magnetic. I want to commend Paul Henreid’s performance as Laszlo, because while at first it seems one note, there’s a little more depth to his character and you can see why Ilsa would want to be with him. And I want to mention Claude Rains performance as the Captain who adds some charm to all the scenes he is in.
I would also be remiss not to mention the lighting of the film. I really loved the use of shadows in the film, it made it feel more noir-like and emphasizes the conflict that Paul has between helping Isla and Laszlo escape or escaping with Ilsa. The story of the film is nothing groundbreaking or extraordinary, but it managed to capture the greatest love story in cinema history. There’s not a scene that feels out of place either. At an hour and forty minutes this film has the perfect runtime and moves along at a great pace.
Having never seen Casablanca before today, I wasn’t sure what to expect, I knew the plot but it still managed to enrapture me. I didn’t even realize just how many iconic movie quotes were in this film like “I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.” And I certainly wasn’t suspecting my heart to ache once the scene at the airport takes place, though I’ve seen clips of it before. There is a reason that this film is a classic, and it has become one of my favorite films – one I can find myself rewatching again and again. If anything I wanted more from the film, some more time with Paul and Ilsa before he decides to let her go.
I give Casablanca an A+