Some suggest that Rick Blaine’s (Humphrey Bogart) popularity among college-age people grows out of his role as a classic existential hero. What is existentialism? What existential traits does Rick have? Are these appealing to you? Why would they have such appeal to the above-mentioned audience? Existentialism is an early twentieth century philosophy that deals with individualism, and assumes that people are entirely free and thus responsible for what they make of themselves.
Rick throughout a bulk of the film seems aloof, and is out for only himself.
In the beginning of the film Rick was a totally different he was very optimistic, but because of Lisa leaving him in Paris he became very angry. Until Lisa comes back into his life he seems to only be out for himself, the way he runs the club he seems to have no regard for anyone but himself. I understand as to why college age students would be drawn to these traits, but if you ask me these traits do not appeal to me.
The reason I believe it appeals to college students is because a lot of college age students see the way he acts and sees him as independent, which college students are trying to achieve when they’re on their own. Another reason I believe that his character appealed to this audience is because of when he shoots Major Stresser, this appeals to these students because they see him as a hero. As in Welles’ Citizen Kane, the function of the flashback is quite important both to the narrative structure and the development of the main characters.
Discuss the flashback to Paris. The flashback in this movie played an important role in the film, in the flashback they show Rick as a happy, loving man. He seemed to be in love with Lisa and seemed very excited to run away with Lisa. The reason this is so important is because throughout the movie Rick is always depressed and seems to only care about himself. The flashback consisted of Rick and Lisa planning to meet at a train station to run away together, when they were scheduled to meet we see Rick there without Lisa arriving.
This incident is what has turned Rick into the man that he is during the movie; this is why they go back to this flashback during the movie. This flashback also explains the reason as to why he got angry when Sam played “As Time Goes By,” and as to why he becomes infuriated when Lisa shows up to his club in Casablanca. Like stated before people see Rick as an existential hero because of the way he acts through the film, seeming very reserved and only seeming to care about himself.
The flashback shows why he became this way and lead to him becoming the existential hero that he became. Select some examples from the dialog and discuss. I believe one of the most famous quotes from the movie was in the end of the film when Rick and Renault are walking away into what seems to be a mist, and Renault mentions to Rick about leaving Casablanca and joining the Free French at Brazzaville, then he utters a quote that is very popular in films today “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. I believe that this quote was so popular because of the set up for this quote; the quote itself is very mysterious and is generally leading towards something that isn’t good.
The fact that the quote came about right after Rick had killed someone because of Renault setting him up, makes it even more mischievous, and there was also the point I made before because of they were walking into a dark mist made this scene one of the strongest exit lines and scenes I’ve ever seen. Another very strong example from the film was when Rick says to Lisa “Here’s to looking at you kid. This line showed the two sides of rick in the movie, the first time when he said it was in Paris this is while Rick was happy, and had a gleam to him that was totally different then throughout the movie where he always seems to be negative and down on life. Another reason that the quote in Paris was very strong was because when this quote happened the lighting in the shot was very bright as compared to the bulk of the movie while he was angry where the lighting always seemed to be dark.
On the other hand the second time he used this quote was when he was trying to get Lisa to go with her husband, this shows the other side of Rick because the way he said it seemed to be half hearted. Another thing that made the scene more telling was because as compared to the very bright set the first time he said it, it was dark and his facial expressions were not as strong as they were when he initially said it.