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Interpretive Analysis of the Film Casablanca (Michael Curtiz, 1942)

7 pages
1919 words
Boston College
Type of paper: 
Research paper
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A film is only as good as the audiences ability to not only understand the information therein but also critique the aesthetic features of the work of art. Michael Curtiz, for example, presents an thought-provoking movie, Casablanca that he uses to communicate various themes in the current community. Since the production of the film, numerous observers have written different reviews concerning the movie. Of interest is Amine et al.s analysis of the movie. Therefore, this paper is based on Amine et al.s suppositions, their implications, and how the author agrees or disagrees with the original producer of the film in question. That way, the article would give the impression that work of art can take any dimension; one artist may use one style admirably, but that does not mean that their take is the absolute truth.

Casablanca is an American film solely based on romance, and it was done in 1942 while being directed by Michael Curtiz (Amine et al. 213-218). This film features some personnel such as Paul Henreid, Humphrey Bogart, Claude Rains, Conrad Veldt, Dooley Wilson, Peter Lorre, Ingrid Bergman alongside Sydney Greenstreet. Its setting relates to the World War Two. In the film, an American character is compelled to choosing between his adoration for a woman and helping her together with her husband who is in charge of Czechs resistance. This figure is tasked to help this leader of Czech resistance to flee from Casablanca, a city controlled by the Vichy to proceed with his opposition against the Nazis.

Even though this film was done by renowned actors, writers, and stars, none of them projected it to being anything unique and extraordinary (Hirchi 115-126). It was just but a collection of the numerous pictures that were created by Hollywood annually. Amazingly, Casablanca was hurriedly produced with the aim of enjoying the fame and publicity of another film, Invasion of North Africa, which had been done some few weeks earlier than it. Then on the 26th of November, 1942, it did its world premiere in the city of New York after which on the 23rd of January, 1943, it was made available for the audience in the United States of America. An outcome that resulted in its marvelous success and acceptance as evidently supported by its win awards such as the best picture, the best director that is Curtiz, and adapted screenplay. Not also forgetting, its splendid lines and its nice thematic song, thus, making the film to be ranked among the best historical movies.

The first feature under the aesthetic elements is the plot of the film. Under this, the author will be looking insightfully at the viability and suitability of the plot laid down in this film. At certain instances, the author does agree or disagree with the plot of the artwork. Weighty in the paper are the faults of the plot. For example, Rick Blaine starts a night club and a gambling site in Casablanca in December 1941, and claims to be unbiased an act that attracts many including refugees and officials from French and Germany (Amine et al. 213-218). However, he fails to prove his neutrality when he runs guns into Ethiopia during the countrys resistance and fight against Italy. At this particular point, he appears to be partisan; he supplies one country with weapons against another. Additionally, he seems to be taking sides during the Spanish Civil War; wherein, he aligns himself with the loyalists side.

Another contended element about the plot is the manner in which Ilsa confronts and threatens Rick in the deserted cafe. Such instances are the ones that champion for some of the vices that humanity experiences currently in the society. Such vices that occur presently and that can be linked to this movie include folks threatening to kill their colleagues, various arguments that result in disagreements, and shooting of others. On top of that, the film at times orchestrates for immorality witnessed today in the communities. That points out to the instance of adultery when Ilsa leaves her husband and goes for Rick who promises her that they would stay together after Laszio leaves.

Moving on under the aesthetic analysis is the authors agreement and disagreement with the writing of this film. Firstly, it is agreeable that Murray Burnett uses real issues affecting people to draft such a marvelous film, which is a plus (Hirchi 115-126). This style has affected even most films that are done presently; as in, they are based on real-life issues. For example, the initial play, which is the mother of this film, was largely inspired by a visit by Murray Burnett and his wife in 1938 to Europe. During this trip, they visited Vienna not long after the Anschluss and as a result, they were affected by the anti-Semitism that they witnessed. This is evident from an instance that took place in the south of France, when they had gone to a nightclub that had clients from different nations, including many exiles and refugees.

Also commendable is the manner in which Wallis, Curtiz together with other screenwriters set the film based on some of the happenings that were to take place in the film. For example, in the play, the character done by Ilsa, is an American named Lois Meredith; as an outcome, she does not meet Laszlo till after their relationship with Rick comes to an end in Paris (Erguibi et al. 1750-1752). Also the Rick has studied law; therefore, to make his motivation and intentions more believable and suitable, the screenwriters together with Wallis and Curtiz, make up their minds to set the film right before the attack on Pearl Harbor.[55]Furthermore, the author agrees with the various rewrites done by done different authors in a bid to incorporate various aspects of life in this film, right from romance to political issues. These is the recurrent issues that are witnessed even in the present societies, and thus, making the film to be relevant despite the passage of time. Casey Robinson helped with three weeks of rewrites, not leaving his contribution from the numerous meetings between Rick and Ilsa in the cafe (Erguibi et al. 1750-1752). It is also worth of noting that Koch highlights the political aspect, something that affects the society up to date. Curtiz appears to have majored on the romantic parts whereby he majored on retaining the Paris flashbacks in the film. Also, Wallis did the final line that sates, "Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship," right after shooting had been done. Finally, Bogart had to be brought on board in a month after the end of filming with a purpose of dubbing it.

On the contrary, the analyst retaliates the production of the film bearing in mind the numerous problems that Joseph Breen found himself in with the production Code Administration, a Hollywood self-censorship body. This body moved in to check the validity of the suggestions that Captain Renault was asking for sexual favors from his supplicants and crew (Telotte 61-62). Also, there are claims that Rick and Ilsa had a sexual affair; so, tremendous changes were made, and several lines of dialogue were distorted. Elsewhere, all the direct utterances to sex were removed; this led to Renault's selling of visas in exchange for sex and Rick and Ilsa's initial sexual relationship being implied elliptically rather than being referenced explicitly. Also, in the mother script, when Sam does the line "As Time Goes By," Rick states, "What the are you playing?" This line was also changed to: "Sam, I told you never to play..." to align with Breen's objection to an intended swear word.

Moving on, it is worth appreciating the movie Casablanca as one with quality, since six of its lines appeared in the AFIs selection list. To note, the most of any film (Gone with the Wind and The Wizard of Oz) both came in second with three apiece. Additionally, the other five include:

Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship," which became 20th.

Play it, Sam. Play 'As Time Goes By that was ranked 28th.

"Round up the usual suspects"ranked 32nd.

"We'll always have Paris"became 43rd.

"Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine." Which was placed 62nd

Another important observation in this aesthetic analysis is how the audience perceives and regards the film. Casablanca has got some logical flaws and comprehensions. To begin with is the two "letters of transit", which allow their bearers to flee Vichy French territory (Telotte 61-62). By taking into regard the audio (helpinfo), Ugarte remarks that the letters had been signed by either Free French General Charles de Gaulle or rather Vichy General Maxime Weygand depending on the understanding and comprehension of the listener. What is more, the English version subtitles on the official DVD read de Gaulle; while the French version ones get specific on Weygand. For a better understanding, Weygand had been the Vichy Delegate-General in charge of the North African colonies for some period that lapsed on November 1941, one month before the setting of the film. On the other hand, DE Gaulle was in charge of the Free French government in exile. Therefore, a letter that possessed his signature would have yielded no benefit or rather difference at all.

In conclusion, Casablanca is a highly-profiled film in the United States and globally at large. This is because it is diversified and grants great chances for analysis. In the aesthetic analysis herein, the author has dwelt on the film comprehensively, while identifying various instances where they are of its view while others where they get divergent on it regarding issues. All their arguments are concrete and reliable for they solely depend on the film and its contents. To note also, having fully engaged in all that is entailed in the film, the analyst is contented that whatever they have written, is factual and that it can be relied upon. Therefore, they have proven that indeed different artistic minds may think dissimilarly.

Works Cited

Amine, Meriem, et al. "Evaluation of Fixed Prosthesis Practical Sessions in the Faculty of Dentistry of Casablanca." International Journal of Dentistry and Oral Science (2016): 213-218. Web.

Amin et al.s analysis summarizes the entire film. It acts as the main secondary source of information; it gives the chronology of events as stated in the movie. Further, it familiarizes the researcher with characters in the movie. That way, it helps in avoiding possible confusion that may arise were the analyst to watch the film alone. Further, the authors give ta historical account of events when the movie was created. So, the article serves as primary reference while checking the historic events that occurred during those times. Finally, the piece provides the analysis with sufficient information that they use to dispute the plot of the movie. For example, it shows the inconsistency in the character of Rick. For that reason, this is a relevant article in the analysis since it summarizes everything in the movie and gives a real picture of the various characters.

Hirchi, Mohammed. "Visual Reconfigurations of Casablanca In Nour-Eddine Lakhmari's Casanegra." Quarterly Review of Film and Video 30.2 (2013): 115-126. Web.

Erguibi, Driss, et al. "Spontaneous Paravertebral Hematoma: A Case Report." International Journal of Advanced Research 5.8 (2017): 1750-1752. Web.

Telotte, J. P. "Round Up The Usual Suspects: The Making Of "Casablanca". Bogart, Bergman, And World War II Aljean Harmetz." Film Quarterly 47.1 (1993): 61-62. Web.

Boggs, Johnny D. "The Casablanca Companion: The Movie And More Jeff Siegel." Film Quarterly 46.2 (1992): 61-61. Web.

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