In the movie Casablanca, directed by Michael Curtiz, two different kinds of love are exposed. The love relationship between Ilsa Lund and Rick is a more passionate relationship while the one between Ilsa and Victor Laszlo is more intimate. Love is composed of different feelings and because of that it can be expressed, as seen in Casablanca, in different ways. “The Intimate Relationship Mind”, a text by Garth J. O. Fletcher and Megan Stenswick, helps support that claim providing a scientific background on how love is shaped by those different feelings. It says that “love is composed of three distinct and basic components that each represent evolved adaptations; namely, intimacy, commitment, and passion” (Fletcher and Stenswick 73). Those three components help shape different kinds of love.
The first love relationship that is portrayed in Casablanca is the one between Ilsa and Rick. It is explicit that the relationship is a passionate one and that what they had was more of a fling, an affair, than a relationship that would last forever. That can be noticed by the lyrics of the song “As Time Goes By”, which is the theme song for their love:
You must remember this,
A kiss is just a kiss,
A sigh is just a sigh,
The fundamental things apply,
As time goes by.
The lyrics basically mean that their love will not last long. That they may kiss and sigh as time goes by but one day it will be over and become a memory. There certainly is passion in Rick and Ilda’s relationship but it lacks the two other components stated by Fletcher and Stenswick: intimacy and commitment. That is shown when Rick has his flashback from Paris. Rick ask...
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... That is how Ilsa and Laszlo’s relationship was shaped, with higher levels of intimacy and commitment, and lower levels of passion. It is a relationship that would typically last.
Casablanca does an excellent job in portraying two different kinds of love: a passionate love and an intimate and committing love. Passionate love is unavoidable and a part of life but people need to accept that a love based solely on passion does not last. An intimate and committing love is what will persevere and is what they need to hold on to. In the final scene Rick and Ilsa accept that their moment is gone, that they will be separate for life but “will always have Paris”. She then moves on to continue her relationship with Laszlo. That is the main message in Casablanca: that you need to accept that passionate love doesn’t last and embrace intimate and committing love.
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