Casablanca ★★★★½

So glad to have gotten the chance to see this one on the big screen. It deserves every last ounce of praise heaped upon it; there can be no doubt that it really is one of the greatest romances of all time. With all his famous quips and the iconic lines he spouts, I must admit I'd almost forgotten how incredibly dark a character Rick Blaine is. The scene where he's sitting and drinking alone in the dark is an immensely evocative piece of characterisation that takes you deep into the heart of his gruff cynicism and shows you the hurting man beneath. Bogart proves himself one of the greatest actors to ever live here, managing a constant humour but never losing sight of the incredible pain this guy carries. The soft light Curtiz bathes Bergman in pronounces her radiance; that she is a character we care for hugely even considering the heartbreak she caused our beloved Rick is testament to the enormity of her performance. One of my favourite aspects of the film, though, has always been Claude Rains. Rains is one of my personal favourite actors thanks to his sheer charm and charisma; this here is almost certainly his finest role, exhibiting perfectly the quick wit he so excelled at. Not just a truly great love story, but one which also speaks to a very specific time of turmoil in the world, it's earned the right to be called one of the best films ever made.

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