Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Citizen Kane [1941]

An absolutely brilliant movie!!!

Let me begin by saying that the first time I saw this movie; I didn’t enjoy it that much. But its one of those movies that pulls you for a repeat viewing and the second time I saw it; I was totally E-N-T-H-R-A-L-l-E-D !!!!

It’s a landmark in creative direction and technical wizardry.
- Its one of those films where the craft of *story-telling* is as fascinating as or rather more interesting than the story itself. In no way am I suggesting that the plot is not arresting … there is romance, tragedy, music, dance, victory, defeat, dreams fulfilled and shattered and a whole lot of drama and mystery !!!!

- And to add to the *mystery* is an equally absorbing plot-delivery technique. A *narrative* style. A * non-linear* method of presentation which was definitely futuristic for that era! The movie unfolds in a *series of flash-backs* beginning with the death of a media tycoon – whose last words were “rosebud” … and the story is about discovering on who/what is rosebud and why so important to a man who had everything in this world!!??!!!

- There is lot of *symbolism* used which is more absorbed in repeat viewing! When Kane loses his job; he walks down spiral staircases; when his wife leaves him, she walks through a fleet of doors … the movie is full of visual representations ….

- Brilliant camera work - The angles of shots & the use of light - makes for an experience extraordinaire. A movie-watchers pleasure ...

- The dialogues are crisp & witty …

- The story is not definitive but leaves ample scope of multiple interpretations. What the movie conveys depends totally on the viewer and his perspective. Does it convey - the hollowness of American dream? The duality of life - a rich media tycoon who cares for the poor?

- This was Orson Welles debut movies. He was just 25 years old when he wrote, directed and acted in this movie.
- The movie opened doors for many fresh faces ... Most of the cast members were first-time in the movie industry …
- The story is said to be loosely based on the life of "William Randolph Hearst"; who is considered to be the greatest newspaper baron in the history of United States ...

SUGGESTION: Citizen Kane needs to be seen *over–n-over-again*.
Repeat viewing is highly recommended – to grasp the nuances of the movie - dialogues, camera-work, lighting, symbolism and acting!!!

Final Word: MASTERPIECE !!!


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