A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Down and Out in Casablanca

One of my favorite films, Casablanca, was recently voted best screenplay of all time. It beat out many worthy entries for this honor, and I am very happy to see it given this distinction. It is not only a great story, but the climax resonates with many people who have done something right, something noble, and still get that odd feeling deep down that they've been screwed.

Let's briefly examine the main character, Rick, and his situation at the end of the film. He is on a fog-shrouded runway on a cold, lonely night. He has sold his café; he has no livelihood. On top of this, Rick has just given up his chance for freedom from the Nazis by handing the last plane ticket to the unquestionable love of his life, Ilsa, whom he'll never see again. Before the scene plays out, he's got a dead Nazi colonel on his hands, and the only person he can consider a friend is French! Talk about sinking low; you can't get much lower than Rick at the end of Casablanca (unless, of course, you're the current President of the United States, but I digress).

Still, and this is the lesson that we should learn, he remains philosophical about the turn his life has taken. Rick walks off with his pal, Louie, and muses about their friendship. He's optimistic, actually optimistic about his future! Granted, it's not the sunshiny optimism of "I'm-back-in-Kansas-with-my-family-but-everyone-and-everything-has-a-brown-tint" that Dorothy felt at the end of The Wizard of Oz, but it is still more silver lining than most of us see on a daily basis.

So the next time you feel like you're having a bad day, remember Rick in Casablanca! Just think how lucky you are to live where you live, work where you work, and be grateful that you don't have to explain why there is a dead Nazi on the tarmac.

TRAILER: Coming Soon: "What's Wrong with Movies Today!"


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