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''Citizen Kane'' Review - Essay Example

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“Citizen Kane” Review Date Submitted Citizen Kane: Movie Review “Citizen Kane” is an extremely renowned American drama released in 1941. The movie stars and is directed by Orson Welles, who also co-wrote the original screenplay alongside Herman Mankiewicz…
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Download file to see previous pages The story begins with the protagonist as an old man on his death bed, alone in his expensive mansion without family or friends. As he utters his last word, “Rosebud”, a journalist sets out on a journey of investigation to discover the meaning of Kane’s last word. It is through this exploration, including interviews with family members and associates, that we are told the life story of Kane, from childhood as a member of a poverty stricken family, through to his move into the newspaper industry as he develops a position of huge and influential power within the medium as his personal life disintegrates. One of the most innovative and important techniques and aspects of the movie is its narrative techniques. The story is told through a series of flashbacks, and not necessarily in chronological order. In addition to this, the story is entirely non-linear in that it is told through the perspective and points of view of multiple characters (Cook, 2004). Such characters include much older individuals who have different interpretations and opposing descriptions of the protagonist. This non-linear storytelling technique which incorporates multiple narrators, including unreliable narrators, was extremely innovative of the time. Though a few previous movies had attempted this to some degree, “Citizen Kane” exploited this technique and based the structure of the entire movie upon this strategy. This is an extremely effective device and very appropriate for this particular movie. As the character is presented as something of an enigma, this is reflected through the multiple, diverse perspective and views of the protagonist by the many people in his life. The audience never fully understands the charcter, his motivations, intentions, emotions and true desires. Just as the journalist becomes more confused with the more information he gets on Kane, so too the audience remains relatively mystified by the character. Another aspect of the movie which has garnered much well deserved acclaim is the cinematography. Welles apparently attempted to create a new style of making films, by trying to combine several such techniques into one cohesive method. This resulted in many new and innovative aspects to the movies cinematography. For example, the director employed several low-angle shots and used deep focus extensively (Cook, 2004). This was extremely modern and new for the time period, as the limitations and typical settings of movies restricted such techniques. One of the central themes of the movie is the inability to fully understand and categorise an individual’s life, certainly without their input, and the film explores this very successfully. Despite Kane’s achievements and wealth, the journalist still cannot understand his final word “Rosebud”. It is not until the end of the film that the audience is allowed insight into the meaning of the word, which has entirely nothing to do with the protagonist’s professional career or successes. This reflects the fact that it is almost impossible to truly understand another person and that relying n the perspectives and interpretations of others is an extremely unreliable source (Sparknotes, 2012). The movie overall, certainly deserves it’s substantial critical acclaim and merits. The innovative cinematography and storytelling structure were highly creative and effective devices to use at the time. Orson Welles as ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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