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Citizen Kane Film Analysis
“Citizen Kane,” a popular film written by Orson Welles and Herman J. Mankiewicz depicts the life storyline of the movie’s protagonist Charles Foster Kane who is the main character in the story. The other movie casts include Jedediah Leland, Susan Alexander Kane, Mary Kane, Emily Kane, James W. Gettys and Mr. Bernstein. The film is all about the entire life of Charles Kane in his old age and about his early childhood through reflection by the close people who knew about his early ages. The first scene of the movie starts with the author bringing an illumination of the demise of the famous Charles Kane who portrayed arrogance, emotionless and pessimistic traits. The Oldman is seen in a cabin holding a globe, and he eventually drops the globe to the ground altering the word “Rosebud.” This word seems of great significance to Foster Kane’s life and after his demise, the newsreel producer assigned reporter Jerry Thompson a duty to investigate its meaning. When watching the movie, it is easy to follow the story as it is sequential from the first scene to the last as Thompson tries to keep in the truck with people who may have relevant information about the famous late news publisher Foster Kane.
The American Dream Myth emerges to be the dominant theme portrayed in the film “Citizen Kane.” In this movie, the American dream is perceived as a desire for worldly riches and material gains not putting into consideration the people’s social wellbeing regarding emotion, friends, and a sense of belonging. The theme of American Dream Myth is illuminated throughout the story in developing the plot, dialogue, symbolism and characterization among other literary analysis devises. During his early age, Foster Kane lived happily at his family’s home as he played outside with snow (Mulvey, page 12). Even though his parents were quite poor owning a simple boarding house, it did not prevent him from enjoy and growing up happy until that time he moves to the real world in the name of finding a job and material possessions. Also, there were no other children to play with, but he lived peacefully in their home as peace and security were guaranteed within the walls.
In perusing his dreams, Foster Kane is taken by Thatcher from his home place and provides him with the material indulgence and financial affluence which are seemed to be the American dream even today. This shows the director’s standpoint of the filmmaking enabling him to visualize the theme to the audience effectively. Foster Kane was employed as a news publisher and worked hard to achieve his desires of being financially stable as well as owning other valuable possessions. However, he accomplished all that; he realized he lacked the virtual of happiness and social association with other people.
Thompson plays a significant role in the film during his investigation and is an excellent representation of the mass media portrayed in the movie. The expectations of watching the movie are knowing the essential life of Foster Kane and the reason behind his frustrations when altering the world rosebud. The media correctly do its work, and it is through it that the dominant theme becomes elaborate to the reader. For Foster Kane, the American dream was hollow as he realized that it was an exchange of financial security with financial wellbeing, a thing that was utterly unfulfilling. With all the richness and economic potentiality he could make others people’s life miserable and buy love, but he did not have happiness in it (Mankiewicz, page 21). The material possessions and wealth isolate Kane from companionship and love ending up dying lonely at Xanadu.
Mass media is an essential tool for communication as depicted in the film. The producer has efficiently used it to develop the story’s plot as well as establishing the theme of the American dream myth. It was opposite to my expectations that the media could play a role in researching Foster Kane’s life without any consultation or compensation as they commonly depend on incentives. Mass media is not only a vessel of communication but can also be used as a research material regarding people’s ways of living and social development. With regards to “Citizen Kane” film, mass media has to be developed to be not only dealing with political and economic critics but also as educative tools on the people’s way of life as they work to achieve their desires comparative to the American dream.
Mankiewicz, Herman J, et al. The Citizen Kane Book. 1st Limelight ed. ed., Limelight Editions, 1984.
Mulvey, Laura, and British Film Institute. Citizen Kane. BFI Publishing, 1992.