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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Review: Citizen Kane


That is the final word of newspaper magnate Charles Foster Kane as he lays dying in his palatial estate of Xanadu. And now, an intrepid reporter interviews several of Kane's most notable associates to find out what that final word meant. Will it give a new insight into who the man was, or is it only a small piece in the jig-saw puzzle that was Charles Foster Kane? This man, besides running several newspapers, owned a vast goldmine and ran as an independent candidate for governor of New York.

This movie, made in 1941, is a classic for a reason, often ranked as one of the best films ever made, if not the best. It gave birth to the axiom "The Citizen Kane of such-and-such a genre," and the trope It Was His Sled. The titular character, though technically not the film's actual protagonist, is portrayed by Orson Welles, who is also the director, producer, and one of the writers (this man, to my knowledge, was very versatile). Not only is his performance superb, the same can be said for every performance in the film, many of which are the debut performances of their actor.

This film serves as a thorough character study of Charles Foster Kane, who some have claimed is a thinly veiled pastiche to William Randolph Hearst, though Welles denied this. At any rate, the said study is remarkably well done. The film also teaches some valuable life lessons, such as the perils of fooling about with women other than one's wife, and that money cannot buy happiness.

In the end, Citizen Kane is a first rate film, a flick that any movie buff ought to see. Though there's not a terrible amount of action, I can clearly see why it is deemed a classic.

RATING: 10/10

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