Sunday, June 8, 2008

Casablanca: AN Eternal Classic

Humphery Bogard and Ingrid Bergman in their classic roles in the war time movie Casablanca played roles that have seldom,if ever been surpassed. What makes this movie just a great film. The editing is spotty. For instance, the famous scene in the Railway station at Paris and when it is raining hard and Richard is dripping wet and by the time he enters the train in the very next scene his dress is dry. It is obvious that the director has overlooked this point. The dialogues are cliche ridden. Is that the sound of cannon fire or is it my heart pounding. This line spoken by Ingrid Bergman is as cliche ridden as most of the other dialogues; Of all the gin joints in all the towns of the world she walks into mine;this line uttered by Eric Blaine is just mushy sentimentalism. In spite of the obvious flaws there is something immensely grand about the movie.I regard the corrupt police officer, Claude Rains who plays Captain Renault as the real hero of the movie. He admits that he is a poor corrupt official but maintains a warm and exceptionally largehearted relationship with everyone. The poor girl from Bulgaria who does not have the money to bribe herself to an exit visa is helped by Renault. In the end when he could have had Rick arrested for the murder of the German officer Major Strasser, Renault allows Rick to escape saying: Major Strasser has been shot:Round up the usual suspects. Rightly, it is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. I wonder why no novelist has ever thought of a sequel to Casablanca. The most wooden and by far the faceless character of in the movie is Victor Lazlo. He is self righteous, loves a woman who obviously does not love him,and tries to use his heavy hand to get Rick to part with the letters of transit. I think it would have been great if Bergman and Bogard had stayed behind in Casablanca.

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