CITIZEN KANE 5
CitizenKane (Orson Wells, USA, 1941)
CitizenKane (Orson Wells, USA, 1941) begins with the camera passing across adeserted region in Florida, which is known as Xanadu. The lens thenfocuses on a gate with a big letter “K” inscribed on it. Inaddition, there is a large no-trespassing sign on the gate and a “notrespassing” signboard. The camera then travels and appears to gopast a lit window. Then the camera pulls backwards to bring asnow-covered cabin into view. The camera further pulls back at aquicker pace to let the viewer discover that the initial view wasjust a section of a globe on the hand of a bedridden, seeminglylonely, and dying old man. The camera lingers on the old man’s lipsthat pronounce just “rosebud”, and then drops dead. From a glassreflection, the viewers can see a nurse walking into the room,folding the old man’s arms, and then covering his face with a whitesheet. The next episode is a death announcement of a person calledCharles Foster Kane. The movie follows a complex sequence thatportrays the dying man as a lonely person burdened with irony.
Afterthe camera focuses on his lips, he pronounces “rosebud” and dropsdead. The director emphasizes on the word since is a tool for bothemulsifying the narrative, as well as providing a constant reminderthat the movie is woven with complex irony. Rosebud has been used asmetaphor and symbol of the lifestyle that Kane yearned having. Theterm is an audio depiction of the innocence, love, simplicity, andhappiness that describes Kane’s lifestyle at “Little Salem”.The comparison of his past and present life propels Kane to drifttowards any direction he deems could enhance his major ideals. Forexample, Kane tries to acquire some sense of love the public shows tohim through his poorly organized political campaigns. Besides, thesensational operatic outrage “Sallambo”, featuring “awfulignorant” Susan Alexander was also an attempt for pursuing hispresumed ideals. The irony of Kane pursuing the ideals underlying the“rosebud’ is that he further destroys the connection.
Thedirector uses a deep focus in the opening view to depict overlyingactions and mise-en-scène(the physical surroundings the movie happens) to make them critical.The opening focus starts by concentrating on a small section inside asnow covered cabin that Kane control. Then it pulls back toillustrate that the section illustrated initially was just a smallsegment that of an entire globe that was on Kane’s hand. Thepurpose of manipulating the physical environment was to illustratingthat Kane had very little control (the lit segment) in the globe, buthe thought he had control over the universe. His presumed power madehim unable to develop good connection with his loved ones. Forexample, he feels that he is too powerful such that he attempts tomanipulate Susan’s natural character. For instance, Kane publiclyhumiliates her because he believed his ideals were powerful thananybody else.
Thesecond scene shifts focus to the newsreel that defines Kane throughhis achievements. The news originally paints a colorful, happy, andadmirable lifestyle of a once reputed newspaper publisher. The focusis based on Kane’s achievements and association with the bigpeople. Nonetheless, the director challenges the reporters toinvestigate the real life of Kane. The sequence of first painting acolorful picture of Kane, then the subsequent mystery and complexityof unearthing the meaning of “rosebud”, as well as his failure inlife indicates that it is challenging to understand a deceasedperson’s life. On the same note, subsequent investigation intoKane’s life reveals that his life was very different from thecolorful obituary that was initially aired on the television. Thereal Charles Foster Kane was different from a combination of his lifeachievements. One could initially think that Kane was happy,satisfied, and complete in all dimensions, but Thompson manages todiscover that he was a lonely and emotionally unstable. He missedmotherly love during his adolescence, thus he was still craving forlove and attention his mother denied him. The term “rosebud”refers Kane’s undeveloped emotional stability. The author uses itat the beginning of the movie to foreshadow Kane’s unduly developedcharacters.
Theflashback perspective is another innovative consequence applied inthe film. The approach allows the storytelling technique enables thedirector to manipulate the timeline. The flashbacks are discussedfrom the perspective of forgetful and unsure individuals. Inaddition, it enables the director to evaluate the thoughts andreasoning of different people towards citizen Kane. The strategyallows the director to prove that Kane’s characters wereintolerable to many people, so they were controversial and ironical.
Themovie also begins depicting Kane as a person who had a goodlifestyle. His parents are quite poor and live in a boarding house.However, her mother gives him to a foster parent who is wealthy andcapable of providing him with essential supplies in life. However,Kane becomes rebellious because get feels that his parents haveshortchanged his emotional security with financial stability.