Casablanca: The Perfect Romance Movie For People Who Hate Love Stories – Collider

Widely regarded as one of the greatest films ever made, and appearing once again on Sight & Sound’s Greatest Films of All Time list, the 1942 romantic drama. Casablanca continues to stand the test of time. If you’re not a fan of the romance genre, from the outside looking in, it might look like another old black and white movie from Hollywood’s golden age. However, there is a lot more to Casablanca than meets the eye, especially for those who may have only heard rumors about it over the years.

This is a film that technically falls into the romance category, although its heavy reliance on both the war and drama genres puts it in a peculiar place, as many other films of this caliber simply they don’t exist Because of this, what the audience ends up getting is one of the most compelling romantic pictures of all time and one that will even be able to carry those who might otherwise be adverse to the genre it primarily occupies.


‘Casablanca’s Second World War setting creates a compelling backdrop

Set against the backdrop of World War II, Casablanca is far from your typical film in both the war and romance genres. That said, the 1940s were actually a time for unconventional films of this particular kind. Either the slightly supernatural story of The Ghost and Mrs. Muira story of a distant tragedy a Letter from an unknown womanor the classic screwball comedies like His girl fridaythere was a wide variety of films that fell into the romantic genre that any type of cinephile could end up enjoying.

RELATED: The Timeless Love Story of ‘Casablanca’

The film isn’t set up as a romance at first, instead lining up as a wartime spy drama. If you were someone who didn’t know that the movie fell into the romance genre, chances are you wouldn’t realize it until Ingrid Bergman entered the picture. The film does a great job of maintaining this facade as we hear rumblings of someone named Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid) a leader of the Czech Resistance, and a fugitive, who is heading for the area.

While the romantic nature of Rick (Humphrey Bogart) and Ilsa (Bergman) is, of course, at the center of the film, it’s the backdrop of World War II that helps accentuate the overall dread and drama, making the romantic nature of this fractured relationship be even more convincing. Because of this, there is a certain sense of heightened emotions that can be felt much more easily here than in your typical romantic drama. Because of this, audiences are greeted with the perfect blend of elements that help make it easy for genre guests to see what is one of the best on-screen romances of the 1940s and beyond.

Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman’s relationship is not your typical romantic movie

casablanca humphrey bogart rick blaine ingrid bergman ilsa lund Image via Warner Bros.

While Rick and Ilsa’s relationship is clear from the second Bergman appears on screen, there’s a lot more going on in these moments. We get a handful of flashbacks to their time together in Paris, a place that clearly means a lot to the two of them, and which ends up giving us one of cinema’s most iconic lines. This adds a nice layer to Bogart’s colder performance, as well as the reasoning behind his behavior not only towards Bergman but many of the other characters in the film. The flashback to Paris is a significant part of the film as it relates to Ilsa and Rick’s overall relationship and how it relates to their current state when it comes to each other.

At the core of Casablanca, Ilsa and Rick’s relationship is a broken romance. Audiences today are so used to potential couples meeting, getting together, breaking up, and then getting back together to end the movie. Casablanca portrays this relationship in a convincing way because of the way the two end up meeting again, making it one of the most memorable in all of cinema. The film does a good job of creating a central mystery between our two protagonists, as there is already an established relationship that the audience isn’t immediately made aware of, although they are given much of the information later. The fact that the film takes place beyond their initial romantic relationship allows for a compelling and unique take on a genre of film that has become incredibly stale at times over the decades.

There is no conventional happy ending for Rick and Ilsa

Casablanca, Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman Image via Warner Bros.

What many people may not understand going into Casablanca is that at the heart of the film is a broken romance that simply won’t work for each individual’s current place in their lives. Rick owns a nightclub and Ilsa is married as both are involved in different areas of the war. Ultimately, it’s their broken relationship that ends up leading to one of the most iconic endings of all time. Many romantic movie audiences expect the couple to get back together, but that’s not the case here, and the movie is better for it. Honestly, Casablanca would feel cheap if somehow Rick and Ilsa got back together, as the story told before their split fits perfectly with how everything else plays out before it.

Similar to the grown-up way David Lean‘s Brief encounter It unfolds, another masterclass in offbeat 1940s romance, Casablanca is a film that feels as if our two protagonists, though potentially destined to be together, will never get that chance. What these two films do brilliantly is make the audience understand that while this relationship is one that seems like it should conquer all, there are other individuals on the side of their decisions.

When it comes to Casablanca, it makes a lot of use of its setting, as it accentuates its dramatic wartime situation, further highlighting those romantic flourishes against a cold and dangerous backdrop. It’s a film that uses all of its genre elements to enhance each other, from the near-black spectacle that any Bogart performance is, to the commanding nature that Bergman’s screen presence provides every time appears.

This is a movie that was shot and released while World War II was still going on, and when you consider that fact, the overall feel of the movie is even more difficult. Although it was not shot in an occupied territory like Marcel CarnetIt is great Children of Paradise, there is still an aura to the picture that many other films of that particular era lacked. Its subversive nature of many romantic tropes that preceded and followed its release, along with its unique backdrop, allow Casablanca to stand as a truly monumental film, and one that has the ability to command attention. of those who do not necessarily gravitate towards the popular genre.

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