Golden Tokens: Casablanca
Check every single list of top date movies made by ANYONE… online, in magazines, wherever. In all probability, Casablanca will be in the top 5. In my personal opinion one of the greatest romance stories to ever grace the silver screen, Casablanca is a story about Rick Blaine (played by the incredible Humphrey Bogart), an American expat living in Casablanca, Morocco in December 1941. When the woman who caused his spiraling depression, Ilsa Lund (the gorgeous Ingrid Bergman) walks into his bar, and back into his life, in order to ask for his help, off begins the whirlwind adventure of one of the greatest love stories of all time. Horrible synopsis, I know. but this movie is so beautiful, that I’m intentionally slapping you in the face with a very vague synopsis because I want you to watch it!
Reasons to watch:
1) The Iconic Status
There are so many classic lines in this movie, lines that I am sure you will be very familiar with. This movie has been paid homage, parodied, spoofed, adapted and ripped off so many times, that every one of us (unless living underneath a rock all their lives) will have encountered at least one movie/tv show/book that references this movie, or takes from it.
Who here knows the line: “Here’s looking at you, Kid.” and wondered, why do people say that? Well, watch this movie, and you will get it. I know many of you don’t see kid as a term of endearment, this movie will change your minds on that.
2) The Love Story
If you’ve ever wondered what the golden age of Hollywood was, this is probably one of the best films to describe it. The story is so clean, not convoluted with too many subplots. The characters are written well, and portrayed exceptionally. So the story comes out clean and clear, and glamorously. Its not trying to be an action-romance, or romantic-comedy, or horror-romance (not too common, but think Edward Scissorhands and Nightmare Before Christmas), but simply a romantic movie.
One of the best things, though, going for it is that its old. When you watch this movie, some scenes may remind you of cheesy scenes you see in modern romance movies. The thing is, you know this movie influenced that, and that level of originality that we attribute to its age just makes the movie feel more authentic. Not to mention that the romantic scenes are mixed in with a real lovers’ conflict that carries on so strongly throughout the movie. Without giving too much away, the emotional roller coaster Blaine goes through when he sees Ilsa, finds out why she left him, and contemplates whether to help her or not, is emotionally riveting.
3) The Stars
Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart have a chemistry that few Hollywood couples could ever hope to achieve. Bergman is beautiful, and her European accent, glassy eyes and perfect complexion have made her one of the most beautiful film actresses the world has ever seen. Bogart is the epitome of nonchalance. When you hear tall, dark and handsome, this is the guy that a lot of people would think of. His tough tone, rough look, smoking a cigarette limply from his mouth, he looked very much like a guy who lost everything he ever wanted, yet had the strength to go on, using his toughness as a shield. The two together… they are simply worth seeing.
Ladies and gentlemen, I know Valentine’s Day has passed, and I was actually waiting for it to have passed to put out this review. In my opinion, Casablanca is the best date movie of all-time. But on Valentine’s Day, everyone is so much more worried about arm-placement while watching as compared to the movie itself, and I would never want to support Casablanca being treated that way. It is a great movie, one that tells a love story in the most classic of ways, and one that you should consider watching, no matter what the occasion.