Saturday, 28 February 2015

Citizen Kane

Source: photobucket

This is an influenced and opinionated review because before I had seen this film, its reputation preceded it and so it was seen by me with with a legend-status in mind. If you are a serious cinema fan, there is no way that you have not heard of this film and know about the legacy it has left behind. Quite inarguably, the greatest film of cinema history, Citizen Kane stands as the benchmark of movie-making till this very date and would do so for years to come.

I have seen it twice, mainly because of two reasons- there is little chance that you would be satiated by the first viewing and secondly to actually compare the revolution in sound and visual effects it brought to the then film industry. To do that, I saw three Oscar-winning movies of around 1941 including " How Green Was My Valley" that beat Citizen Kane at the Oscars for Best Film (Outstanding Motion Picture i.e.). I saw them almost at a stretch, trying to get myself acquainted with the way films were made then. I am no expert at doing that but still, I found some remarkable differences in Citizen Kane.

It tells you, not a story, but about the seasons of a man's life, and not any man at that but Charles Foster Kane, a print tycoon and one of the richest men of America. "I expect to lose $1 million this year, I expect to lose $1 million next year.At the rate of $1 million a year...I’ll have to close this place in 60 years". But he doesn't care about it; maybe because he never earned it. Kane is not a hero, he never was one. And when a man as complex as him dies saying "Rosebud", the world tries to solve the mystery of his life based on the word. But will it be possible? Can it be possible?  “I don't think any word can explain a man's life” is what a man ends up with, after scratching all he could. Still, do we find a true meaning of it? Yes. Yes we do. And one might perhaps feel that it was a superficial one, but in reality, that's how life of people who have always had the world at their disposal is. 

There are magical moments in the film. There is an uninterrupted shot of Kane's election campaign with him standing, delivering a speech with his hands stretched out while speaking. It tells much about Kane, not to the reel audiences, but the real one. It tells that he believes in explaining himself to the world, in justifying his actions and the movie hence is about whether he feels content doing so. There is also a scene whereby a man addresses Kane's actions about making a singing star out of his wife -" You know what the headline was the day before the election? "Candidate Kane found in love nest with 'singer.'" He was going to take the quotes off the singer".


And the movie remains an attempt, a masterpiece of an attempt, showing through the world's eyes to the world how, life as we know it, can be deciphered but doing so may end sometimes in an anticlimax.

Citizen Kane taught cinema many lessons, but it taught the world a greater one. That a man is as good as his possessions; and his possessions are as good as his love for them. Citizen Kane had the world; but did he love it? Watch the film and try to answer.

Bandwidth Verdict: This blog is not worthy of passing a verdict on this movie. To know why, you will have to watch the film.                                                                                                                          


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