Casablanca: Hers & His Perspectives
For the eighth installment in our 2023 Classic Couple Movie Challenge, we offer our take on Casablanca (1942). This week we diverted from our journey with Peter Bogdanovich to take advantage of the opportunity to see Casablanca on the big screen.
It’s perfection. Casablanca is a perfect film. It has it all: compelling plot, exotic setting, entertaining music, superb casting, and truly some of the best dialogue in all of filmmaking. Seeing it in a 4K restoration on the big screen made me appreciate it even more as the print brought the extraordinary acting more to life than I have ever experienced.
This viewing, I appreciated Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman as lovers more than in prior viewings, and there have been many and certainly will be many more still. The emotion seemed more pure and their passion more convincing. I lost myself in Bergman’s tears and Bogart’s torment. Such a pairing they are in this film. A classic couple for the ages.
Casablanca always has a top position as one of my absolute favorite movies. From start to finish, Claude Rains as Captain Louis Renault is the interpreter of the reality of the place, the wartime Casablanca each of the characters find themselves navigating. He accepts the way things are, while maintaining apparent neutrality among all of the influences and agendas around him. He’s in command, not just as figure of authority, but more of himself and how he will or will not react in a given situation. He’s got many of the best lines in the film, understandably so as he’s a bit of the barometer for the other characters, reflecting what is happening around them.
Rains’ unlikely friendship with Humphrey Bogart as Rick Blaine is my hook in the film. It is, as the last line says, a beautiful friendship.