Analysis of Rick Blain and His Internal Conflict
From the audience’s perspective, Casablanca (Michael Curtiz, 1942) is a romantic drama. The scene where Rick Blaine, the lead male, is at the bar after seeing Ilsa Lund, his former lover, is the most dramatic moment in the film. The audience first sees Rick alone at the bar drinking. Sam walks in the bar and has a powerful conversation with Rick. The moment that these two characters share is dramatic because the audience is getting to see a side of Rick that hasn’t been seen yet. The audience is used to seeing Rick as the perfect man. After he sees Ilsa, he breaks down, which is indicated by his heavy drinking, showing that he has a weakness. The cinematography helps show the dynamic change in Rick. The shot distance allows the audience to see Rick’s facial expressions. Although Rick is seen as strong and independent, when he is reunited with Ilsa, he is drawn into a darkness that he is struggling with in the scene; it is easy to see the struggle of man vs. himself and the concept of masculinity.
In this scene we see Rick in a vulnerable state after having seen Ilsa for the first time in a year. The camera shot is varied from close ups to medium long shots. When a close up is used the audience can see the emotions on Rick’s face more clearly. He is burdened with memories of the past. This breaks with the idea of masculinity because the audience can clearly see that Rick is in distress. Men are burdened with social norms that