**WARNING- If you’ve never seen Casablanca and don’t want to know the end, don’t read this. (Nothing’s spoiled til after the page break) You’ve been warned.
I’ve been back in Columbia for six days now and am settling back into life as I know it. It started out rather lonely as Meredith was still in Thailand, Emily went to Springfield, Natalie worked a lot, Michael stayed in Rolla, and David went back to St. Charles for the weekend. I half regretted coming back to Columbia so early, but my days in St. Peters had also become lonely, indicating it was time to move on and start facing what this next five months will entail.
Friday night is movie night at the Circus, so Natalie and I had Christopher and Adam over for Casablanca. I’d never seen it, and I figured it was time to understand some of the quotes and references I’ve heard floating around. It’s interesting that Rick waited for Ilsa and never really let her go…he waited all that time for nothing, just to lose her again in the end. The movie is set up to make you wish they were together, but only until you stop and think about Laszlo. If it isn’t bad enough to be in a concentration camp, he almost loses his wife and love of his life because of it. That’s far from fair. You see how much he truly loves Ilsa when he asks Rick to take her to safety. For that reason, I was quite satisfied with Laszlo getting the girl in the end. I suppose it ended all right for Rick, too, because he finally got the closure he’d needed since the day Ilsa left him without explanation. Being the hard-headed tough guy that he was, he needed to feel like he was in control of the situation. I could write a whole other blog on the implications of Rick having to do the thinking for both of them…but I won’t bother.
The important lesson from the movie is that life isn’t fair. Especially when it comes to relationships- there are things about other people that you can never change no matter how much you want to. Rick could love Ilsa, and even deserve Ilsa, but Laszlo loved her just as much and probably deserved her even more. Rick was strong enough to care about was best for Ilsa, to recognize that she really did love Laszlo, and to go on with his life. When it comes to relationships, it’s never all about you. For that, I think the movie was great.
But now the time for sitting around thinking about movies is past. Classes have started yet again. Time to figure out how to do the readings from a book that hasn’t been delivered yet, and to decide if I’m really ambitious enough for a 4000-level political science class that requires reading Alexis de Tocqueville’s (700 something-page) Democracy in America almost in its entirety. Time also to look for a house and a job. Life goes on.