- Orson Welles
- Reviewed by
- Gon Curiel a.k.a. Groucho
- Review date
- Friday, November 10, 2000
The stunning techniques used for the production have never been topped or even approached. You will hardly find another movie that has such a combination of talents all around. The story is truly amazing. It tells the tale of a Newspaper Tycoon who dies after a whole life of success and scandal. As the movie begins, Charles Foster Kane dies, and says "Rosebud" as his final words. A reporter searches throughout Kane’s whole life to find the meaning of that word. As this man interviews people who knew Kane well, we get to see many flashbacks of this amazing character's life. It all works as pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. While we always feel as though we knew Kane's whole story, there is always something new to add: More people, more private tales, more things the world never knew. All this through the unbelievable cinematography by Gregg Toland (without a doubt the best work of its type I've seen) and surrounded by the perfect score by Bernard Herrmann, is a masterpiece.
The truth is, the film is tiresome to watch. No matter how charming Kane might be (and he sure is, even when he's a terrible person), his story is not easy to swallow many times. The experience is unique, but going through it again and again is not very attractive. I don't think many people would argue with me about that. I've seen the film many times, and I've meticulously analyzed it. I love it. But it's so huge, I admit it's hard to watch, in a way.
Despite all this, every human being should see it at least once!
Orson Welles, as an 25 year-old actor-writer-director did an incredible work. The screenplay (by him and Herman J. Mankiewicz) is perfection. His performance is one of the best ever (by anybody), as his character goes through many phases and he works out all of them perfectly well. His direction is even better. Every scene is full of details that only a genius could conceive. Trying to enjoy them all the first time is impossible. Seeing the film many times and finding out that no matter how many times you see it, you'll never finish seeing all the details, is amazing. That's a true cinematic experience, like the ones I love.
The importance of this film is also how much it influenced the world of cinema forever. While it is impossible to imitate in a decent way, it is easy to be inspired from, and it shows.
A dark, big, beautiful, fascinating film, Citizen Kane is a movie every movie buff should see. Well, have you?
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