Analysis of a scene from 'Casablanca'.

Authors Avatar by mariabarrancofgmailcom (student)

Casablanca in the shadows

Casablanca is a 1942 American romantic drama film that is focused on an American expatriate who must choose between his love for a woman and helping her husband to escape of Casablanca to continue his fight against the Nazis. I decided to analyse a shot of this film because I think Rick is an interesting character because he wants to show that is a cool person but in the bottom of his soul he has feelings and I want to analyse that feelings.

The shot I choose to analyse is not last particularly long or highly relevant but I choose it because I think that this shadow silhouette of Rick shows us his dark side. First of all, it is very important to contextualise the shot in the film. It occurs when Captain Renault warns Rick not to help his friend Lazlo. The captain and Rick are talking outside the Café when an employee of Rick tells him that something has won a lot of money and they do not have enough cash to pay him. Rick gets up to go to the strongbox while the Captain follows him and they cross the whole place while Renault explains that they are going to arrest someone that night. Rick climbs the stairs to his office with Renault and we can see only the shadow of Rick taking the money while the Captain is speaking.

Having described the scene, let's analyse it. First of all, we have to divide the shot in two parts. The first one is when they are in the Café and they are going to climb the stairs, and the second one is when they come into the office. As we can see, the first part of the shot starts with a long shot of the café with the Captain Renault and Rick in the middle of the scene. With this long shot we have access to the space where we can see the people talking and drinking and it is used to set the scene in the film because we can see inside the coffee and the frenetic pace over there. At the beginning of the shot, the camera has a high angle but when Rick goes up to his office the angle is low because they are in the first floor and before they were in the ground floor. Moreover, we know that the shot is not particularly long but we can see that there are many important camera movements. The shot starts with a long shot and when Rick is climbing the stairs to his office the camera follows him with a pan right and a slight zoom out at the same time. The camera crosses the wall to follow the protagonists of the shot, the Captain and Rick, but the third character, the casino employee, almost disappears because of the position of the camera. This means that the character is not relevant in the scene.

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Secondly, as I said before, we are facing a long shot so it is hard to guess their facial expressions and characters but, if we watch the shots before, we can get an idea of their personality. After seeing the movie, we can deduce that Louis Renault is the corrupt prefect of police but he makes no bones about the fact he is corrupt, so we can conclude that he is corrupt but we can trust him because he is honest with his nature. However, Rick is a person who does not reveal his feelings but his actions show that ...

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