Casablanca was a romantic film produced in 1942. Internet Movie Database summarizes Casablanca as “Rick Blaine, who owns a night club in Casablanca, discovers his old flame Ilsa is in town with her husband, Victor Laszlo. Laszlo is a famed rebel, and with Germans on his tail, Ilsa knows Rick can help them get out of the country. ” Rick Blaine is the main character and he is described as cynical and doesn’t have a care in the world. He doesn’t even care for his lover Yvonne. He definitely doesn’t care about World War II happening in his country. Ilsa is an important character as well and is obviously loves her husband.
Yet, there is a bit of a love triangle among Rick, Ilsa and her husband. The love triangle submerges when Ilsa eventually believes her husband is dead. Ilsa cannot make the decision—who should she fall and stay in love with? Misa en scene is French for “placing on stage. ” Misa en scene is also what is neighboring the event that is occurring on the stage. Casablanca has many different shots and angles that need to be appreciated. Casablanca is actually known for using numerous flashback shots and scenes. This movie also has many close up shots and reaction shots.
Flashback is when the director takes you back to a certain point. Flashbacks are typically used to recall an experience that occurred before the scene that you are watching. A reaction shot is a “portrayal of a person’s response to an event or a statement made by another. ” There is one scene where Ilsa is lurking in the window. The blinds are open where you can see that she is there. Yet, there is a shadow on her face where it isn’t clear enough. The shadow covers half her face while she spies on Victor through the window. There is another shot that must be acknowledged between Rick and Ilsa.
When they are saying goodbye, there is a two shot. Two shots are shots of two people, simply. The two shot consists of Rick and Ilsa closely speaking. Soon after, you can see their faces clearly and you can feel what they feel. You, as the audience, can feel the tension between them. You can feel the doubt in Ilsa’s face and actions. This shot expresses their relationship with each other and how saying goodbye affects them. Costumes usually express the time period that the movie is in. Since Casablanca takes place in 1942, the actors and actresses had clothing of style from the 1940’s.
In the 1940’s, a man usually wore fancy suits. I did not see a male character in Casablanca without a suit on. A woman, in the 1940’s, usually wore dresses and skirts. Men were powerful while women were feminine and lady-like. Women wore scoop-neck dresses that were never above the knee. Times have changed. In the movie, I could not find a man without a suit on. These days, you do not really see a lot of men wearing suits on a daily basis. Women don’t wear that style of clothing as much. Most women wear dresses slightly over the knee. Of course, some women still dress lady-like but in a more modernized fashion.
In Casablanca, it is well-known that the place they go to is Rick’s Cafe. Rick is the main character and most of the scenes occur in his cafe. The scene I chose to analyze (that takes place in Rick’s cafe) is when Laszlo and Ilsa enter the cafe. When they walk in, the host greets them. He hands them their menus and walks them to their seats. While they are being seated, the pianist is playing the piano and stares at them. The pianist and Ilsa make extended eye contact. Next, there is a reaction shot from a man standing at the bar. Everybody is staring at Ilsa and you can see all of their reactions.
There is one single light on their table which pushes the audience to focus on the table. There is a part of the scene where it is an extreme long shot and I can’t help but look in the background of the scene. I am unaware of how everyone else in the 1940’s acted. Yet, in this movie the main characters speak differently from how we speak in 2015. Also, when Ilsa and Laszlo entered the room they walked so confidently and they stood out. It is no wonder every single person was staring at them, among other reasons of course. In conclusion, Casablanca was a classic, romantic film produced in the 1940’s.