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Rick, who is played by Humphrey Bogart, acts as a hero who helps the woman he loves and longs to be with escape to live a life without him in America. Throughout the film, Casablanca , he rarely displays his emotions to the public; the viewer’s occasionally experience some of the pain that Rick undergoes as his long lost love makes and unexpected visit. Some modern day critics view Bogart’s portrayal of Rick as dull and predictable but also raise the question if actors today are over dramatic in their movies.
Bogart portrays Rick as a well composed business man who runs an American style cafe whose only concern is himself and his business. This is displayed early when one of his friends is being arrested; as he refuses to help he says, “I stick my neck out for nobody”. He also maintains peace among his establishment as multiple times there are arrests or an occasional fight; he restores order and makes sure the guest carry on with their night. This is a representation of how he does not panic when chaos comes his way as he swiftly ends the potential danger that may follow.
The viewers are first able to see his emotions when he sees Ilsa for the first time and is almost speechless for a moment. He for the first time is startled and thought the day would never come when he would see this woman again. From that point on he began to drink, most of the time at a table alone where all he could do was think about Ilsa and her husband. When he is alone in the restaurant the night he sees Ilsa it is the first time the audience is able to see Rick’s true emotions on display. He is hurting at the thought of her being with another man and his composure that the customers see every night is nowhere to be found. Towards the end of the movie Rick because he truly loves Ilsa and has a change of heart decides to free her and her husband from Casablanca and puts his career and life in jeopardy to do so. Although Ilsa truly did love him he would not let her stay with him he made the unselfish decision to make her go to America even though he knew he would never see her again.
Rick not adding any drama to situations that are already hostile some critics may view him as having a dull personality. This raises the question if actors today overdramatize situations and express themselves too openly. Bogart keeps Rick’s personality a mystery to everyone accept Ilsa. This adds suspense and does not allow people to be able to read him and know what he is thinking. For example when Rick pulls a gun on Captain Renault , who is his good friend, he is not expecting it because Rick gave no signs of threatening intentions. At times Bogart may have given away what Rick was going to do next but his personality made the final scene so personal and heartwarming. Up until rick told Ilsa to go, no one knew that he was not going to follow through with their original plan and surprised everyone with his heroic deed.
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