Every year I watch Casablanca and Singin' In the Rain. I need them. They make me happy. Singin' In the Rain is just silly, lighthearted and flawlessly directed, sometimes visually surreal and abstract, always a joy. Casablanca has it all and, on top of that, it's the perfect lovers movie.
It's also the perfect heroic movie. And the perfect drama. And the perfect noir film. And the perfect—the perfect everyfuckingthing, really.
From the razor sharp clockwork dialogue to the plot to the direction to the acting. Oh, the acting. Every single actor and actress is perfect in this movie: the brief appearance of the always spooky Peter Lorre as Ugarte, the greediness of Sydney Greenstreet as Signor Ferrari, the cynicism of Claude Rains as Captain Renault, the stellar Dooley Wilson as Sam. Paul Henreid's portrayal of resistance hero Victor Laszlo. And all the small characters in the supporting cast.
And of course Bogart and Bergman, Rick and Ilsa. Never in the history of cinema was a love story so perfect and so confusing at the same time. Was Ilsa playing a game or did she truly love Rick? Was her love for Victor more powerful than her love for Rick? Or did she do what she did for the cause of the war against the Nazis? I like to think the latter is the truth, that she did it for the fight and that she truly loved Rick more than anything.
But to this day, no matter how many times I watch it, I don't really know. I'm not sure. Which is what makes the story so incredibly powerful. And also what makes Rick's gesture the epitome of the anti-hero that does the right thing. And hell be damned. Fuck it. I want to be Rick when I grow up.
If you haven't watched this movie, there is no excuse not to. It's not cliché. It's pure and brilliant movie making. It's as current today as it was when it was introduced. It's just the perfect movie, one that will push all your buttons and, at least, leave you in awe at the talent that is displayed during every second of its reels.
After watching it countless of times, it still gives me the same goosebumps and even more. Heck, I always tear up during the scene of La Marseillaise and start singing it at home—and I don't even like La Marseillaise!
It's just that good.