To begin with a review for what is considered a great movie of all time by many, I would say, “Play it again, Sam”. The line is in the movie itself.
This movie is revered by many and indeed comes out as a great love story, but in fact apart from few minutes of a montage or a flashback, it never really revealed how they did fall in love, they here is the hero and the heroine. The protagonist, is apparently not a human here but they are the transit papers that drive the whole story and to get hold of them will be each character’s will. Played extremely well by all the characters involved, the acting is a text book for many aspiring actors even today and shall be there forever. Ingrid Bergman as Ilsa Lund just paints the screen with her eyes, so well captured those eyes are that they made me desire for them and to have a faint touch of those to wipe those tears. This movie shall always be a tribute to her. Humphrey Bogart as Rick Blaine has done well and what I learnt from him was how to be expressionless and to derive an expressionless face also needs an extremely tough expression.
The writing is pretty accurate but the reasoning’s are minimal, why a certain character behaves in a way is not completely revealed in the film. It is highly unconventional a love story for 1942 coz, Ilsa is seen kissing Rick many a time as he is the one she loves but is not by Victor Laszlo, the man whom she is married to and the man who loves Ilsa the most. That is an irony and brings an uncertainty to the way characters act. One scene where Ilsa and Rick are in Paris, embracing each other breaks up where they have to part and another scene turns up that Ilsa is manipulating Rick later to escape the country and even then she says that she loves Rick only. That is an inconsistency I observed but nevertheless, the story she reveals to Rick as to whom she was and what has actually happened to her makes up for it. But for today’s viewers most scenes may seem like to have been cooked up and not so fluid and even I felt the same, the climax escape which Rick sets up is a bit truly altruistic and actually not very much appreciated by me. If I love a woman, she comes back I would rather stick with her then let her go again. My love is of prime importance to me but here, Rick has other plans so I did not like the climax much had it been the other way portraying a selfish human being as protagonist, surely the movie may not have received this much appreciation.
The music is excellent and the one song As Time Goes By is poignant and relevant to the movie narrative and even for normal reference. That is a high point apart from the acting of the film. The cinematography was simple and so are the settings which are mostly shot within studio.
So thus, I would say, this movie accounts as a great one by many and is loved by many more and I would love Ingrid play the role again and again too. But writing should have been tight and the characters should have been driven by selfishness rather than selflessness.
My Rating 3/5. A good one to watch for sure but not the greatest for me.