Back in 1941, the historical situation in the world as terrible as The Second World War existed globally. Despite the dark period the 1st of May 1941 premiere of “Citizen Kane’’ was shown in New York. It is one of the best-rated and most famous movie of all time. The film was based on William Randolph Hearst's biography. “Citizen Kane” was directed, written, and produced by a marvelous and talented man – Orson Welles. The story of the film was about well-known and rich news publisher Charles Foster Kane. The meaning of the last word, which he said at the end of his life – “Rosebud” has caused strong societal interest. News reporter Jerry Thomson tried to found out its importance in Kane’s life.
Fun fact, even though this film is based on a true story, some unimportant characters in it are made up. At that time this practice was uncommon. Film creators for this purpose are using carefully curated name lists. For example, you can make up some Australian character and pick some random name from https://www.random-name-generator.com/australia and nobody will suspect a thing. Smart, right?
The script of “Citizen Kane’’ is quite unique. The film itself has no real love story, happy ending, or a lot of joyful scenes. There are only many unknown and intriguing things about Mr. Kane's life. Actually, at the beginning of this film, I thought that “Rosebud’’ would be a woman and I was pretty happy that I was wrong. Moreover, Mr. Kane personality was idiosyncratic. The one side of him: rich, famous, charismatic, clever – can buy/have almost everything he wants, on the other side: egoist, selfish, control maniac: controls his media empire to control the way people think, controls people he love lives. One phrase he said stuck in my head for some time: “If I hadn't been very rich, I might have been a very great man”. It shows that money and power created a man, he never wanted to be. Also, it feels like he understood what he had done but still acted as selfish as he did. Despite everything in the second part of the film I started to feel pity for him. The deeper look at his personality revealed that he was a lonely person and even the money or expensive things he bought were not able to fulfill the hollow he felt. Another important person in this film, I think, as he’s last wife Susan. After she came into his life, Kane’s world started to fall apart. His ambitions, career, friendship with Jedediah Leland were destroyed, he separated himself from people more and more and when finally Susan left him, I think, he’s lost the last aim of his life.
The technical side of the film also impressed me. The film consists of many flashbacks through different periods of time in Charle Kane‘s life. Also, cinematography, deep focus, shadows, and even symbolism (snow globe, statues, and slides) were used in this movie. I really loved the last film episode, when the slides were put in the fireplace and the word ‘’Rosebud’’ was shown. The idea was genious! Moreover, the names of the main characters were brilliant. Luckily, for my stories, I do not need a lot of time to find perfect names for characters as I mostly use Random Name Generator. It’s still hard to believe that this film was created so many years ago..
All in all, then I started to watch this film, I remembered the phrase from “Friends” about “Citizen Kane” film: “Yeah I know it’s really boring, but it’s like a big deal.” and at the beginning, my point of view about this film was really the same, but at the end, I didn’t feel that way anymore. All disadvantages were just: black and white film, Susan’s screechy voice, mostly whole the time hard atmosphere and film was a little bit too long.
By Sandra Stanulionyte