Friday, February 6, 2009

As Time Goes By

So I have a romance with classic films, this being one of them.  I have always thought Casablanca was a wonderful movie and after seeing it again in class I am reassured that I was 100% right about it.  There was something new added to my experience of the film this time, it is the same something that makes me love literature so much, it is discussion and analysis.  People may say how odd is that, don't you want to just take the movie as it is? No. I want to read into things and really discuss subtle lines or actions in the movie that make it so much more than it may appear on the surface.  There is so much more to learn and know about a movie than can been seen the first time you view it.  Wednesday was my third full time to see the film and the best part was being able to talk it through.  

For me, one of the most forceful parts of the film is when Ilsa first comes into Rick's Cafe Americain and she calls Sam over to play her and Rick's song, As Time Goes By.  The song and both Ilsa and Rick's reactions attests to the power of music.  Many times a person will have strong emotions linked with music; it can be from any situation.  Music is something that has no real barriers, not time, not race, not language.  There is always a story that goes with music, whether that is why it was written or why it is so enthralling to the listener.  After the cafe closes for the evening, Rick asks Sam to play the song for him.  Sam is creating excuses not to play the song when Rick says, "If she can stand it, I can. Play it!" And to show everything that song really means to Rick, there is a flashback to the times he and Ilsa had in Paris.  The viewer knows all of the raw emotion that song represents to Rick.  Repeatedly I am amazed about the universal power of music and this movie has the perfect example.

One other aspect of the movie really makes me wonder and think.  It is summed up quite well when Rick says, "Of all the gin joints in all the towns of all the world, she walks into mine." The aspect is fate. Yes, of course in this movie fate is exactly what makes the film and of course it is written to be that way, but there is something to fate.  How is it that an individual can find a person, out of the billions in the world, whom they love so much that he or she can break the individual's heart?  Or how can people work together or be in class together and later find out they are somehow related? Though the fate in the film is staged, it still makes me think about the possibility of true fate.  


  1. I love the good old black and whites too. There is just something about that era of films that can't be reproduced or imitated. Did you think about how fate might have also been looking at the bigger picture? Ilsa's presence ultimately brought Rick back into action. Unintentionally, she brought passion and beliefs back into all areas of his life.

  2. If what you are suggesting about fate is true, then what does that do to the idea of Rick being cool? After all, if he has no choice in his situation then how can he be cool?

  3. You make an excellent point regarding Rick's statement. However, you can take it either way - either it was fate and they were destined to meet again, or it was pure luck and the dominoes fell just right. Would one or the other change your perception of the movie at all?

    Good entry. I'm glad you incorporated links to video for the specific moments that you mentioned. Don't be afraid to add more!