Romance and Rick

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The film Casablanca was released in 1942 in the setting of Casablanca, Morocco. Initially, I expected this film to be a typical romantic wartime drama involving a man and a woman torn apart by differing political views. I also expected a very simple love story involving one dimensional characters and somewhat superficial dialog. Lastly, like many of the older romantic films, I expected a happy ending with the two main characters living happily ever after. I can safely say that this was no typical love story, and that none of my initial expectations were correct. Describing Casablanca as a romantic love story falls short of explaining what the film is truly about. I found Casablanca to be a very political, and most importantly, patriotic film. Patriotism was important at this particular point in history, as World War II was taking place and Germany was attempting to dominate the world by declaring war on multiple countries. 1942 was also the first year Germany began to exterminate Jews at the Auschwitz concentration camp. The film makes numerous references to concentration camps. It must have taken a great deal of vision and courage to make this film at the same time that all of these tragic events were taking place. Many of the main characters in the film have deep political and patriotic convictions, and were willing to fight for the cause of freedom. Victor Laszio, played by Paul Henreid, is by far the most patriotic of all the characters in the film. Laszio is portrayed as a political hero who despises the Nazis, and is committed to do all he can to stop them. One scene in particular truly showed Laszio's patriotism. After listening to a group of German soldiers singing their national anthem in Rick's Café Americain, he led the people in the bar to overwhelm the German soldiers by singing the French national anthem as loud as they possibly could. Rick Blaine, played by Humphrey Bogart, portrays a cynical bar owner who, at one point in the film...
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