Sunday, 3 February 2013

Citizen Kane (1941) Classic Movie Review


Let me take you back in our imaginary time machine to October 30th 1938, the place the United States of America, and why do you ask is there panic in the streets, well I will tell you, its because of a little radio drama taken quite literally called War of the Worlds. Read by some up start called Orson Welles, during the reading of this the people of America thought they were actually under attack!, and history was made. RKO pictures snapped up this actor threw plenty of money at him to make any movie he wanted to make. His reply was Citizen Kane, which happens to be my top film of all time.

The opening scene we see these tall dark gates and fences as if trying to keep something inside and away from society, this is Xanadu home of Charles Foster Kane! We go in we see a dying man on his death bed clutching a snow globe, the snow globe falls.... we hear a whisper from the man...the word "Rosebud" said  in a ghostly and quiet way this is his last word.
Then we get interrupted by a news reel telling us the story of this Charles Foster Kane and what he did and accomplished in his life.. and the scandals. This is the way of Orson Welles telling us what is in store for us and this enigmatic figure of a man he has created.
Next we get a flashback scene of a young boy playing in the snow with his sled, we find out this is Kane and the family is in strict poverty, so the parents sell their child Charles to a rich mogul man who has no heir so takes Charles as his own, Charles grows up goes against his "father" becomes a newspaper tycoon with his fathers money., and history is made he goes on to become a powerful figure... but not everything goes his way. The general idea of this film is a News reel reporter called Jerry Thompson (William Alland) is trying to discover who or what was this Rosebud Kane uttered on his death bed. He journeys through the life of this man interviewing those close and not so close to Kane to find this Rosebud. It is a very powerful movie and so far ahead of its time, the cast play older versions of their characters to help this story along, the camera angles in this film were of the like never seen before, zooming in through roofs of buildings and zooming back out ever so gently its a true masterpiece of cinema. The cast are amazing Orson himself as Charles Foster Kane has this sort of self cockiness that suits the character he has created. Another of my all time favourite actors Joseph Cotten is also brilliant in this as Kane's right hand man and we see him as an older man trying to badger Mr Thompson for smokes we cant help but smile. During Mr Thompsons journey of  discovering this enigmatic man Kane we see that he wasn't always the great man we are led to believe in the opening and had a tendency to use friends and women for his own gain and loss at a horrible rate, and shows why he ends up living in Xanadu, hiding away from society so to speak, Xanadu showing the perfect metaphor of what he had become, outcast, dark and sinister. The end is pure brilliance we discover who/what is Rosebud, there and just like that Ghostly Whisper at the start. For anybody who loves and appreciates cinema you need to see this film, it is the benchmark.
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