“Casablanca,” has been deemed “the greatest love story of all time” by many professional critics and film goers alike. To receive and maintain such outstanding reviews, the basic elements of the film must be scrutinized by a higher standard- especially when compared to the plethora of phenomenal love stories found this day and age. Aristotle set many of the guidelines we use today to determine what separates the average tragedies from the exceptional. I believe, because of its lack of complexity and predictable nature, “Casablanca” fails to meet its claim to greatness.
When the plot of the film is broken down we see the general over-used “star crossed lover” plot found in stories dating back to Shakespearian times. Rick, the leading male in the film, falls in love with Ilsa, the beautiful and mysterious female lead while in Paris, France. Tragedy hits Paris and they are both forced to leave. Ilsa agrees to run away with Rick because of her great love for him. (Predictable.) Of course, Ilsa never shows up and Rick finds out that she has chosen to leave him through a letter. (Predictable.) Several years later they are reunited in unoccupied land called Casablanca found in Africa. Ilsa shows up with her husband Victor Lazlo, in Rick’s café. Soon he learns she was married to this man at the time of their first meeting in Paris. (Predictable.) Rick also learns of their desperation to leave Casablanca, however because of restriction put on Lazlo they are stuck without the ability to leave. Rick finds a way to help them escape and says his final goodbye to Ilsa, forever. (How incredibly predictable!) Aristotle states that it is necessary for successful tragedies to have a certain level of complexity. Because this story has none, I would claim it isn’t the “greatest love story of all time.”
The characters in this film were relatable and I...