Originally Posted by billmarq
You are deranged. Sorry.
The goal was for Rick to resolve his relationship with Ilsa. He accomplishhed that, although not in the manner he originally desired. He chose a "higher" path. Pay attention to the backstory. Rick's altruism was resurrected when he was finally able to cope with Ilsa's leaving him when he realized she truly loved him.
This movie could easily have been written without Laszlo even appearing and nothing would change. He presence was only instrumental to the plot by re-inforcing Ilsa's motives. Better to see the man rather than just talk about him, right?
Rick is the protaganist. Any other choice is bunk.
It's the old inner goal/outer goal thing.
Originally Posted by reddery
there is also a Role Reversal that goes on. The backstory of Ilsa leaving Rick is that she was protecting him from being considered a conspirator.
these contridictions ask questions like, were they really in love?
End of Act one, she lets him go (train scene)
End of Act Three, he lets her go (plane scene)
His letter of transit was her leaving him.
Deranged! Billmarq, give me a break.
You say, "The goal was for Rick to resolve his relationship with Ilsa."
If that was the story goal, it should have been established by the protag by the end of Act 1. Right? It took quite a while into Act 2, before Rick could even think about that. I'm arguing that Rick is the main character in Casablanca. Rick's goals and struggle are what the story is really about, even though his goals are not the story goal.
On the other hand, Laszlo's goal (to get the letters) was established at or near the end of Act 1. This goal is not
what the story is really
about, but it is the Protag's goal. A neat, tidy goal for a Protag.
Think of it this way. The story goal in Casablanca, Laszlo's goal, provides the throughline for the story. Above this undercurrent, is the real story. Rick struggles with his memories and love for Ilsa and his other issues.
The protag and main character are usually the same character. In Casablanca they are not. This allows the writers to create a very complex main character, a character without a neat goal that drives him through the Second Act. Rick is a character whose character is slowly revealed throughout the second act.
That's the beauty of separating the protag and main character when the story warrents it.