Casablanca Rick's Metamorphosis

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Rick’s Metamorphosis Throughout the entirety of Casablanca, directed by Michael Curtiz, the audience is constantly trying to guess the nature of the protagonist, Rick’s, character. The movie leaves one guessing until the very end however there is a crucial scene that shows us how Rick used to be and what turned him into the stone cold man the audience believes him to be during the time the film takes place. Through the use of lighting, spacing, and the general props used during the Paris flashback sequence Curtiz crafts a sad and dynamic character out of Rick. One of the clues that is given about Rick’s character is the way the lighting changes during this sequence. During the scenes that take place in Casablanca, and especially the ones that happen in the café, harsh lighting is used on Humphrey Bogart (Rick). This emphasizes the façade he has created where he leads all those who know him to believe that he cares of nothing in the world except for himself. He is a harsh man and the lines and wrinkles in his face only help to lead the audience in a direction in which they almost dislike Rick. This changes drastically during the scenes in Paris. Soft lighting is used for these sequences implying that Rick is not so jaded at this point. He believes in love and happiness and even thinks that such things can and have happened to him. Of course during this sequence he is with Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) who throughout the entire movie is filmed with this type of soft lighting. Her face seems practically flawless and this only serves to greater contrast with Rick’s when she comes to Casablanca. Rick is rough and wrinkled while she still looks the same, implying that Rick has gone through a drastic change while Ilsa is perhaps still the same. An interesting effect is done at the end of the flashback when the train steam gives way to the Rick’s cigarette smoke

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