Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Casablanca - Movie Review

Ah, time to revisit the old classics and enjoy them. Casablanca came up - now when did I see it last? I remember me and Shobhs seeing it with Ajanta at their Begumpet flat some ten-fifteen years ago. That was the first Casablanca viewing for me. But I was such a pain those days (still am) and so full of myself (still am) that I never really could absorb the movie. Now I did, a better job than the last time.

If anything, it's a great piece of story telling. Take the World War as the setting. Pick a place which is the hot bed for people making a beeline to the USA, away from the war in Europe. Make the hard talking, smooth hero own the hottest place in Casablanca where everyone goes. And into this setting, introduce his old flame - she walks in with her husband, an idealistic revolutionary on the run. Rick, the hero, cannot handle her presence. Flashback into that idyllic period of intense love between these two in Paris where she betrays him - does not show up at the station as promised. Heartbroken once, the hero is now in a position to help her and her husband escape from Casablanca to the US. But will he do it? Or has his heart become so hard from the first betrayal?

Full of sharp one liners from the inimitable Humphrey Bogart, great situations arising out of the story and the promise of a great love story, Casablanca, can be watched many times for the ease with which the story flows. I could watch it right now again - now that's not something I could say for many movies. Great acting too, great characters and a nice ending. Now I need to see Woody Allen's 'Play it again Sam' - it got me the moment Ingrid Bergman says, 'Play it Sam'. Ah, how melody of a time gone by touches the heart with the familiarity of those same emotions only god will know. But in the list of romances, Casablanca, will remain. Made in 1942 and we still rave about it!

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