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Thoughts on Citizen Kane

This being my first time viewing the film ‘Citizen Kane’ in it’s entirety, I must say I thoroughly enjoyed it. Aside from the superb work on the cinematography, this film had a great storyline. Even greater than the story of Charles Foster Kane, the protagonist or antagonist of the film as some would argue, was how the story was told. The use of the central character’s dying words “rosebud” was very ingenious on the part of director Orson Welles. By utilizing the word “rosebud” as a literary device or a “red herring”  throughout the film to help push the story further, was very clever on his part. This technique was effective in keeping the interest of the audience in this very long and melodramatic picture. As we find out at end of the film, “rosebud” was Mr. Kane’s most prized possession as a young child, something that was very dear to him and brought him great joy, but he lost and has been trying to replace ever since. In my opinion I believe that this object symbolizes a time in Mr. Kane’s life, when everything was much simpler and no amount of money in the world could have made him happier. As we saw all the riches in the world couldn’t make him happy no matter how hard he tried. Even as he attempted to make other people happy by giving them what he thought they wanted in order for them show him love as gratitude, his endeavors were fruitless. In the end he died as a lonely old man with no one at his bedside. A sad but very insightful and thought provoking film, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

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~ by Jean-Joseph on September 29, 2010.

4 Responses to “Thoughts on Citizen Kane”

  1. I thought it was pretty messed up that he died alone. I know there were many people at his funeral but there should have been at least one person at his side all the time on his dying bed. If anything it should have been Susan or Bernstein or even his butler. He already lost his first wife and son due to a tragedy, shouldn’t he get just a little sympathy. And yea, your right, he gave and gave to make people happy but didn’t receive anything. What a sad life (and death).

  2. I have to agree with you with the fact that his sled represented a simple and happy time in his life. Unfortunately, his childhood was stripped from him and he wasn’t able to achieve that simple happiness no matter how hard he tried. He was a man that everyone knew and yet he died so very alone.

  3. @millefiore Yes I agree with you 100% that should have had someone by his side at his death. All in all he wasn’t a terribly bad guy, just perhaps a little misguided and selfish. It appears also that towards the end of his life he had basically pushed everyone that was close to him away.

    @mjanczewski100 ‘Rosebud’ did represent a very simple and happy time in his life, and I do think he lived his whole life as most of us do trying to regain those moments in our lives when we were happiest, with no worries and no cares in the world. However, we seldom get back to that special place and he was no different even with all his wealth and power, he was just a human being like all of us.

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