During this essay, I will move through the scene in Casablanca chronologically, whilst detailing the editing, sound and mise-en-scene, and analysing how they affect the viewer's reading of the scene.
Throughout the scene, the room is dimly lit, and there are a lot of shadows - both on the faces of Rick and Ilsa, and on the walls behind the characters. Many of the shadows, especially behind Rick, are cast from exotic looking objects. This connotes the multicultural aspect of Rick. He is a man who has travelled around a lot, and seems to have rarely settled enough to call anywhere home.
There are lots of structures within the room, and many horizontal and vertical lines - especially within the shadows and on the blinds and slated doors. The horizontal lines feature mostly when Ilsa is in shot, possibly suggesting the split emotions she has over what she is feeling.
The scene begins with Rick coming to the top of a set of stairs within his cafe. It is silent, with the only sound being his diegetic footsteps. It is also dark and shadowy.
Rick comes to a door, and the camera cuts to the other side of the door as we see him open it and enter the room. He reaches to his left to turn on the lamp, which only partially brightens the dark space. The non-diegetic music, which will continue throughout the scene, starts as he looks ahead and sees Ilsa.
As Rick looks up, the camera sweeps across the room in the direction of his eye line, and we see Isla standing by the window and turning towards Rick, with horizontal shadows of the blinds across her. The camera then makes a sharp cut to a close up of her face and shoulders, which makes the...