Casablanca Essays

Casablanca Essay

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Casablanca: An Unconventional Romance

     In Casablanca, the prominent themes of unhappy love and self-sacrifice set this romantic melodrama apart from most in its genre. These themes are best expressed in the interactions of the three main characters: Victor Laszlo, a heroic political leader; Ilsa Lund, an enigmatic femme fatale; and Richard (Rick) Blaine, a seemingly morally ambiguous night club owner. An unusual love triangle forms with the two men’s mutual love for the intermediary woman. Unlike the archetypal romantic triangle which includes the betrayed husband and the victorious lover, this situation results in unhappiness and loss for all involved. All three are willing to sacrifice for this love,…show more content…

      Ilsa is one of the most enigmatic figures in this story. She is torn between her passionate love for Rick and her vows of marriage to Victor. She is deluded by her confusing feelings for her husband, “..she looked up to him, worshipped him, with a feeling she supposed was love. He opened up for her a whole beautiful world full of knowledge and thoughts and ideals.” She loves him as a “heroic father figure.” Her inescapable love for Rick causes her to completely surrender her will to his judgment. She offers to willingly sacrifice herself to him in a loving, but adulterous relationship. Her shameful decision violates her high ideals, honor, and sacred vows of marriage. In the end, although Rick’s decision brings her great unhappiness, and severs her from the man she passionately loves, she yields to it and accompanies her husband back into their unfulfilling relationship.

     Rick is the morally ambiguous night club owner, who hides a sentimentality behind a neutral facade.
Rick struggles with his feelings of love for Ilsa and his loyalty and admiration for Victor and his cause. Rick recognizes how important Victor’s work is to the world, and sees that Ilsa is a necessary part of this mission. Rick admires Victor’s selfless devotion to Ilsa, and knows that he (Victor) is the better man. He tells Ilsa, “...inside of us we both know you belong with Victor.

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Analysis on "Casablanca" Movie

The movie Casablanca (1942) takes place in the WWII torn town of Casablanca. The movie is based on the fleeing of refugees from war torn France trying to gain passage into America. The movies circles around the struggles of the war in Europe and of the struggle between lovers.

Casablanca was a war waypoint located in Northern Africa where refugees from the war against the Nazis fled to try and gain passage to the America’s. The only problem is that it is a rough place to live and most refugees that came to Casablanca never made it out.


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The police in Casablanca were corrupt and often bribed refugees in order for them to get their letters of transit. Only the very rich or the very lucky were able to get out of Casablanca and make it to the Americas to live in peace. This is a very important idea in the movie because it sets the backdrop for all the action and drama that occurs throughout the rest of the movie.

The movie begins with the owner of a popular night club, Rick Blaine, obtaining two valuable letters of transit. These letters are so important because they cannot be questioned by the authorities and they grant passage to the Americas. When a Czech underground leader, Victor Lazlo, arrives in town with Rick’s old love flame the plot gets thick. Now Rick Blaine is torn between the decision not to help Lazlo escape the Germans and steal back his long time love Ilsa or to help Lazlo escape to the Americas and help lead a rebellion against the Nazi’s. This is an example of how the struggles of war and love become very intertwined in the movie.

Casablanca is a great piece of movie history because not only did it do a great deal to show how people were affected by the war, but also because it had a very twisted and unpredictable love triangle that was affected in many ways by the fight for freedom in the Americas and the fight against the Nazi’s in Casablanca and around the world.

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