As Time Goes By...

Recently I had the pleasure of watching Casablanca for the very first time. It was amazing!!! I know, I know I’m not the first to mention it to you. And if you haven't already seen it, I’m not the first to suggest that you do... Like, now. But I gotta say, there's a reason that everyone's been talking about it for the last 60+ years. There's a reason it won the big 3 (picture, directing & writing) at the 1944 academy awards. There's a reason the American Film Institute named it the 3rd best movie ever made. This movie is incredible.

But, I have to be honest, I was worried about watching it. High expectations can be a real problem. And I can't help but watch old movies through a contemporary lens. Typically, set decoration or dialogue pulls me out of the experience. I end up focusing more on how antiquated everything appears than the film itself. But this one was WAY different. Bogey and Bergman deliver magnetic performances. And the story has chops. According to the documentary included on the special edition DVD, it took several different writers, in several different stages to handle several different aspects of the plot. And it worked. It's unexpected, about-face ending made cinematic history. When "Rick" makes the ultimate sacrifice and sends "Ilsa" to safety with her husband, it is a touchingly poignant example of genuine love. I sure do wish I was capable of loving that way. I wish i was capable of giving love selflessly and sacrificially. Bogey's strong, silent, man's man turns out to be the ultimate romantic. "Rick" forfeits what he wants for the good of "Ilsa". Rather than demonstrating the "me first/mine, mine, mine" version of luv that we're force fed culturally, "Rick" is a picture of true love.

That's why the film stands the test of time. Casablanca is timeless because Truth is timeless. It’s a magnificent depiction of the selfless love that we long for and are created to experience.

1 comment:

Amie said...

i have never seen casablanca either...and guess what else i've never watched-gone with the wind-can you believe it?...but i did go to see high school musical 3 last night and i give it very high reviews-the choreography is unbelievable and it is probably the best of the 3!...my 2 younger children are in complete aggreance with me!!!!!