copyright © Jedo Dre 2011

Casablanca is a difficult movie to review because there is nothing particularly wrong with it, but also nothing particularly excellent. It is more about whether or not you like its style.

Its style is very misty-eyed. The insisting violin vibrato in the high register tries to cut into your heart, as the main hero talks harshly to the damsel, but inside we all know that in actuality he really loves her. This film can be impersonated by a lady who sighs as she holds her wrist against her forehead in a gesture of fainting.

Is it cheesy though? Well, no, it does not go that far. It stays tasteful and professional, but its style is very clearly defined and may not appeal to all.

The undertones of the story are about a refugee crisis and anti-Nazi resistance, but the movie is really about the relationship and conversations between the main characters, and to its credit those interactions are good.

Humfrey Boghart is not my favorite actor. He is the poster child of the over-stylised acting that was so persistent in the first part of the 20th century, but this is probably one of his best roles. The most interesting is probably Claude Rains who plays an opportunistic French officer.

It is competently made but there is nothing that strikes as particularly special about this film. There are worse ways to spend an evening than watching a good quality film, but all the hype that goes as far as perceiving this film as the best ever made is really unnecessary.