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Citizen Kane

Citizen Kane is a complex narration that takes us through the various stages of a man’s life in pursuit of inner happiness. Even though, the film portrays Charles Forester Kane’s huge ambition and predestined success, as a spectator I witnessed how his life is marked by the impact of the arrival of a stranger, Mr. Thatcher, in his life. Through the use of flashbacks and flashforwards, the characters narrate the story to help both the journalist solve the mystery of Kane’s final words, “Rosebud”. The mystery of the meaning behind his last spoken word became a quest for the reporter in charge of Kane’s story and was the main focus of the whole film.Throughout the film, we trace the meaning of one word, rosebud. The camera reveals the truth at the end and the audience is the only ones who get to see it. What can ”Rosebud” possibly mean to a millionaire that had it all? As we know in the film one of the reporters said ”Dead or alive it’ll probably turn out to be the very simplest thing”.

In the film, we are introduced to a man named Charles Forester Kane, the greatest newspaper tycoon. He was loved by many but also hated by many. Kane had a massive ego and was very much obsessed with power over people and control. We are able to see the transformation of a young Mr. Kane into a successful businessman.Kane was sent away to live with his new guardian, Mr. Thatcher and lost his childhood with his real parents. The scene with his mother and father telling him that he’ll be leaving with Mr. Thatcher made me want to cry! I thought that was one of the saddest parts of the movie. Seeing him playing outside with his sleigh by himself made me even sadder when his mother was going outside to tell him the news. He was just an innocent boy that was content with his life and it was all about to change for him.

Mr. Thatcher gave Kane a better life than his parents but Kane would’ve chosen to stay with his parents if it was up to him. One of my favorite quotes in the movie is when adult Kane says to Mr. Thatcher ”If I hadn’t been very rich, I would’ve been a really great man”. That just hit me like WOW! That was deep! Charles Forester Kane was a man that lost almost everything he had, maybe ”Rosebud” was something he lost. I feel like all Kane wanted in life was happiness. Here is a man that had it all but didn’t. He didn’t have a solid childhood, he had all the money in the world but was still unsatisfied. All he wanted out of life was love because he lost it.

We watch the rise and fall of Citizen Kane. We hear different stroies from different characters in his life. We learn that money doesn’t guarentee happiness. Kane had the huge house, the cars, the fame, the fortune and lots of expensive statues but now mattter how important or grand life seems it all comes to an end. His loss of innocence and lack of childhood was an important factor in Kane’s life. He goes through many obstacles to a journey with no destination. One of my favorite lines is when he says ” I think it would be fun to run a newspaper!”. He wasn’t in it for the money, he already had plenty of it since he was a successful businessman. As soon as he started running his newspaper he became a well known muckracker. He wanted the people to be able to trust him and he didn’t want to hold any secrets from them.

Kane tried to be a man of his word and make promises but becomes consumed with the acquisition of power and loses it all. He goes through two divorces and loses a son and his newspaper business during the Great Depression. The rise of power and fame lead to a very lonely man at the end of this film. His home was huge, deserted and was dark filled with eternal emptiness. Kane tried to control everything which made him lose it all. Kane never finished anything except for his bestfriend’s notice. Because he wanted to prove to his best friend that he was an honest man after all. He ended up finishing up the bad review about his girlfriend at the time. Kane said ”There’s only one person in the world that decides what I’m going to do and that’s me”. I love that line because we all should feel that way about our actions. We should do what we want to do not what others want.

As we know, the news goes on for 24 hours a day. Charles Forester Kane recognized that and started to follow it. Kane’s life as a businessman was set from when he was a child. The loss of his childhood holds a great part in the man he turned out to be. Maybe if he had a good childhood and was a kid growing up he probably wouldn’t have been so intimidating and superior to others. Kane creates this huge world and his whole life is a performance. He dominates with an actors voice and uses his voice as a weapon. Maybe he told us all about himself on his death bed when he said his last words, Rosebud. The audience is granted the answer to the truth behind the meaning of Rosebud. Rosebud was the missing piece to the jigsaw puzzle. Rosebud was his sled when he was a kid. This was the only thing he had left of his childhood, something that he couldn’t buy back. I love and hate that the audience is the only one that gets to know the truth at the end but that’s what makes the film so great!

I honestly was a little nervous with watching this film because it’s an oldie and it’s in black and white. I can’t believe I actually enjoyed it. What a masterpiece! It really is all that and a bag of chips. This story was just so good and I have recommended it to a lot of my friends. This is how life works. We rise and we fall. We have good days and we have bad days. We all strive to succeed and all want to make big bucks one day but does money really buy happiness? Do we need power in order to be happy? I think that life is what we make of it and if you aren’t a millionaire who cares! Nothing in life is guarenteed but death. This film made me realize that you can have it all but have nothing at the same time.

 

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