Analysis of Casablanca

Summary The movie is set in World War II-era Casablanca and follows the events that unfold after the murder of two German couriers and the arrival of a German officer in Rick's Cafe. The tension between the Germans and the resistance leads to the arrest of suspects and the pursuit of the letters of transit. The owner of the cafe, Rick, is reunited with his former love, Ilsa, who is married to resistance leader, Victor Laszlo. Rick secures Laszlo's freedom with plans to leave with Ilsa, but ultimately sacrifices his love for her by handing over the letters of transit and letting her and Laszlo leave together. Rick stays behind to face the consequences of his actions and is arrested for accessory to murder.


Screenplay Story Analysis

Story Critique Sorry, there is not enough information provided in the summary to provide a critique of the story
Suggestions: Please provide a more thorough summary of the story.

Note: This is the overall critique. For scene by scene critique click here

Characters in the screenplay, and their arcs:

Character Arc Critique Suggestions
Rick Rick starts off as a cynical and mysterious café owner, but through his complicated history with Ilsa and involvement with Laszlo's resistance, he is forced to confront his own values and ultimately becomes a selfless hero who risks his own safety for the greater good. The character arc for Rick is well-defined and satisfying, but there is a lack of clarity in the middle of the movie about his motivations and behaviors. The audience is left to infer his history with Ilsa and the reasons for his cynicism. Also, there is a lack of development for some of the supporting characters.
Provide more exposition about Rick's past and Ilsa's role in it, and give more depth to the supporting characters. Show more of Rick's inner conflict and struggle with his feelings for Ilsa and his desire to stay neutral in the war. This will provide greater emotional resonance for the audience and make Rick's transformation more impactful.
Renault Throughout the movie, Renault's relationship with Rick and his own sense of personal gain and loyalty are tested as he confronts the realities of the Nazi occupation. He begins as a corrupt and self-serving official, willing to bend the rules for his own benefit, but as he witnesses the atrocities of the Nazi regime and sees the bravery of those who resist, he begins to question his own morals and values. Ultimately, he chooses to aid Rick and Ilsa in their escape, risking his own safety and position for the greater good. The character arc of Renault is well-crafted and adds depth to the story. However, it could have been further developed to explore the complexities of his internal struggle and the motivations behind his choices.
One suggestion for improving Renault's character arc would be to provide more insight into his history and background, which could give more context to his actions and decisions. Additionally, more emphasis could be placed on his relationship with Rick and how it evolves throughout the film, highlighting the nuances and complexities of two characters who are both morally ambiguous and have conflicting interests.
Laszlo Laszlo starts off as a determined and honorable leader, fighting against the Nazi regime. He remains unyielding in his principles and ideals, and ultimately proves himself to be a brave and passionate leader willing to risk his life for his cause and for those he loves. He also deeply loves Ilsa and will do anything to keep her safe, even if it means asking for Rick's help. This character arc is well-written and fits with the character's description throughout the movie.
It would be interesting to see Laszlo struggle with self-doubt at some point in the movie, perhaps after a major setback for the resistance. This could add complexity to his character and make his unwavering determination even more admirable.
Ilsa Ilsa starts off torn between her love for Rick and her loyalty to her husband, Laszlo. She is emotional and impulsive, struggling to come to terms with her feelings. As the movie progresses, she becomes more conflicted as she realizes the danger they face and the consequences of her actions. Ultimately, Ilsa chooses to follow her heart and trusts Rick's plan. She is grateful and emotional, but still resigned and disappointed. Throughout the movie, Ilsa shows emotional range and her presence in Rick's life brings out his tenderness and vulnerability. The character arc for Ilsa is interesting and fits well with the overall plot of the movie. However, there could have been more development of her character, particularly in the middle of the movie where she seems to be less active and more passive in the story. Additionally, her decisions to choose Rick over Laszlo could have been more clearly motivated and justified.
To improve the character arc for Ilsa, there could have been more focus on her internal conflict between her love for Rick and her loyalty to Laszlo, particularly in the middle section of the movie. This could have added more depth to her character and made her decisions more understandable and believable. Additionally, her emotional range could have been further explored and heightened, particularly during her more tense and conflicted scenes. This could have made her character more dynamic and engaging for the audience.