February 8, 2014 at 10:07 pm #205Emma WangParticipant
What caught my attention was Rick’s sacrifice throughout the movie. In the beginning, he seemed to be distant and uncaring, only looking out for himself. He even states multiple times, “I stick my neck out for nobody.” He avoids drinking with customers, barely shows any interest in his girlfriend (?? I’m not exactly sure what she was to him), and insists that he won’t offer his help to others despite how badly they need it.
Despite this, Renault still calls him a sentimentalist, and we see Rick performing small acts of kindness behind closed doors: making sure his girlfriend gets a ride home and helping the young couple make enough money to travel to the U.S. Once Ilsa reappears, his hard shell begins to crack. This ultimately leads to him giving up his past with her and allowing the both of them to move on by making Ilsa leave with Lazlo.
Instead of looking out only for himself the way he does in the beginning of the movie, he gradually gives in to his desire to help others and finally performs the ultimate sacrifice by letting Ilsa go. Thinking in terms of what a hero might be, I think Rick fits the description because of the way he allows himself to change throughout the movie. In the end, he is able to learn from his experiences and act unselfishly.February 8, 2014 at 10:52 pm #206Megan MeadowsParticipant
I can’t decide if Rick is a hero or if his change was an act of love. He does have many of the characteristics of Campbell’s hero; however, I’m not sure if I would call his acts heroic. I don’t think that he seemed like a bad person at any point in the novel, just watching out for himself. Casablanca seemed like it was a tense environment, between the war and Rick owning a business, and I think he just wanted to protect himself. There are so many liabilities with everything he is involved with and even if he did nothing wrong, he could still get in trouble, as we saw in the film when the officers closed down the saloon for no reason. Love can be very blinding and make people forget about what is normally important to them, such as protecting themselves. When Ilsa and Rick were reunited, Rick put his mind on her and made sure everything worked out. Instead of thinking of himself, his business, and his safety, he threw it all away to make sure she was happy and safe. That being said, I’m not sure if these are exactly qualities of a hero or if Rick was just blinded by love.February 9, 2014 at 11:12 pm #208Michael AugelloParticipant
I agree with you, Megan, love can certainly be blinding and cause people to do many things that they wouldn’t otherwise do. While the love story is what sticks out the most and is most important, it is important to see the ending in another light as well. Allowing Ilsa to go with Lazlo can be seen as a empathetic and patriotic in some senses. Lazlo is fueling a movement and a resistance during World War 2, and has taken Ilsa with him throughout everything. Rick knows how broken and empty he was when he lost Ilsa, and he knows that Lazlo would be so wrapped up in his own woe that he would not be able to do anything to fight the war. The final close ups of Rick’s face and Ilsa’s face show that they will always be in love, they both know that they will always have Paris, and they’ve accepted this. One can only assume that with Ilsa by his side, Lazlo goes on to have many successes, and this can be attributed to Rick’s sacrifice.February 10, 2014 at 3:53 am #209Natasha RodriguezParticipant
I agree with Michael. Rick did not only make his decision for Ilsa, but for Victor as well. Although in a film the audience does not know what the characters are thinking, it is implied in the film that Rick was considering Victor’s important duties when making his decision.
Also, I don’t mean to sound cheesy or cliche, but love does tend to change people…usually for the better. I feel that the fact that it was Rick’s love for Ilsa that changed him into a better person doesn’t matter. I feel that as long as Rick ultimately changed for the better and acted heroically, that’s all that matters. It’s completely fine to admit that it was love that got him to that point, but I don’t think that makes Rick any less heroic. What Rick did in the end of the movie for Ilsa and Victor was an act of pure selflessness, and perhaps Rick is forever changed man.
February 10, 2014 at 8:02 am #211Jo-Ann WongParticipant
- This reply was modified 9 years, 10 months ago by Natasha Rodriguez.
I also agree with what others are saying about the end of the movie. In my opinion, Rick lets go of Ilsa because she is a part of a past that they will never be able to recreate. For instance, during one of their meetings, Ilsa tells Rick that he is not the man she used to know. No matter how much they try to fool themselves, each one of them has gone through so many different experiences and emotions since they separated that neither is the person the other one fell in love with in Paris. If they try to live in their past experiences, neither character would be able to move on and live in the present as they would be trying to reconstruct caricatures of themselves from the past. Thus, Rick realizes that if they stay together, they would never be able to live up to the expectations they set in Paris and would be miserable together (while also causing pain to Victor).February 10, 2014 at 8:02 am #212Jo-Ann WongParticipant
I also agree with what others are saying about the end of the movie. In my opinion, Rick lets go of Ilsa because she is a part of a past that they will never be able to recreate. For instance, during one of their meetings, Ilsa tells Rick that he is not the man she used to know. No matter how much they try to fool themselves, each one of them has gone through so many different experiences and emotions since they separated that neither is the person the other one fell in love with in Paris. If they try to live in their past experiences, neither character would be able to move on and live in the present as they would be trying to reconstruct caricatures of themselves from the past. Thus, Rick realizes that if they stay together, they would never be able to live up to the expectations they set in Paris and would be miserable together (while also causing pain to Victor).February 11, 2014 at 9:18 pm #220Marlene ManeyParticipant
While I agree with everyone that Rick acted heroically and in the best possible interest of both Ilsa/Elsa and her husband, and generally follows the entire course of Campbell’s Monomyth, I can’t help but wonder whether it could be said that Victor Laslow also follows a heroic journey of his own. He is called to advocate for the rebel cause against the Nazis, forgoing his own personal safety in the process. As a result, he is captured by his enemy for several years before somehow managing an escape to Casablanca, a city of supposed neutrality. In Laslow’s journey, it could also be said that Rick acted as the Supernatural Aid, providing Laslow with the proper transit papers to leave Casablanca and escape Nazi capture once again. If we go with the scenario of both Rick and Laslow being heroes, Elsa/Ilsa then serves as the woman who bridges the two men together, allowing the audience to make comparisons between the two in the process.
- This reply was modified 9 years, 9 months ago by Marlene Maney.
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