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An In-Depth Analysis of ‘Citizen Kane’: A Movie Review

An In-Depth Analysis of ‘Citizen Kane’: A Movie Review


Citizen Kane is often hailed as one of the greatest films ever made, and IT is easy to see why. Directed by Orson Welles and released in 1941, the film tells the story of Charles Foster Kane, a powerful and enigmatic newspaper mogul. Citizen Kane is a masterpiece that not only revolutionized filmmaking techniques but also provided audiences with a thought-provoking narrative. This article will delve into an in-depth analysis of Citizen Kane, exploring its themes, storyline, and contributions to cinematic history.

Plot and Themes

The film opens with the death of Charles Foster Kane and sets the stage for a journalistic investigation into the meaning of his cryptic last words, “Rosebud.” Through a series of interviews with those who knew Kane, a nonlinear narrative unfolds, revealing the rise and fall of a complex character. Citizen Kane explores themes such as power, wealth, corruption, and the loss of innocence.

Power and Wealth

One of the central themes in Citizen Kane is the corrupting influence of power and wealth. Kane’s transformation from an idealistic newspaper owner to a ruthless tycoon reflects the moral compromises that often accompany success. As he amasses wealth and gains control of various industries, Kane becomes consumed by his own ambition, ultimately losing sight of his true desires and leading a lonely and unfulfilled life.

Corruption and Loss of Innocence

Another significant theme explored in Citizen Kane is the notion of corruption and the loss of innocence. As Kane rises to power, he becomes entangled in a web of deceit, manipulation, and scandal. The idealistic young man who once fought for social justice succumbs to the temptations of wealth and influence, resulting in a loss of his moral compass. The film suggests that the pursuit of power can corrupt even the noblest of individuals.

Cinematic Innovations

Citizen Kane is widely regarded as a groundbreaking film due to its innovative storytelling techniques and technical accomplishments. Orson Welles, in his directorial debut, employed various techniques that would forever change the landscape of cinema.

Deep Focus

One of the most significant contributions of Citizen Kane to the world of filmmaking is its innovative use of deep focus. Deep focus refers to the technique of having multiple planes in the frame, with each plane in sharp focus, allowing the audience’s attention to be drawn to multiple elements simultaneously. This technique adds depth and complexity to the visuals, creating a layered and immersive viewing experience.

Nonlinear Narrative Structure

Citizen Kane broke away from conventional linear storytelling by utilizing a nonlinear narrative structure. The film jumps back and forth in time, weaving together different perspectives and memories to paint a comprehensive portrait of Charles Foster Kane. This unconventional approach challenged the traditional notions of storytelling and showcased Welles’ bold and experimental vision.


Citizen Kane remains a timeless classic that stands as a testament to the power of storytelling and the art of filmmaking. With its thought-provoking themes, innovative techniques, and memorable performances, the film continues to captivate audiences to this day. Orson Welles’ debut masterpiece redefined the possibilities of cinema and remains a remarkable achievement in the history of filmmaking.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the significance of the last word, “Rosebud,” in Citizen Kane?

The word “Rosebud” serves as a symbolic representation of lost innocence and the unattainable desire for simplicity and happiness. IT encapsulates the core theme of the film, highlighting the emptiness that can accompany great wealth and power.

How did Citizen Kane influence future filmmakers?

Citizen Kane has had a profound influence on future filmmakers, with its innovative techniques and storytelling methods becoming the basis for modern filmmaking. Many directors have cited Citizen Kane as a significant inspiration, and its impact on the medium can still be seen in films today.

Why is Citizen Kane considered one of the greatest films ever made?

Citizen Kane is often considered one of the greatest films ever made due to its groundbreaking techniques, thought-provoking themes, and timeless storytelling. Its innovative use of deep focus and nonlinear narrative structure challenged the norms of filmmaking, leaving a lasting impact on the art form as a whole.

What other films should I watch if I enjoyed Citizen Kane?

If you enjoyed Citizen Kane, you may also enjoy films like “The Godfather,” “Casablanca,” “Apocalypse Now,” and “Raging Bull.” These films share a similar level of artistic and storytelling excellence, providing viewers with a captivating and immersive cinematic experience.

Is Citizen Kane suitable for all audiences?

Citizen Kane is generally considered suitable for mature audiences due to its complex themes and narrative structure. While IT may not be appropriate for very young audiences, IT is a film that can be appreciated by cinephiles and individuals with an interest in the history of cinema.

In conclusion, Citizen Kane is a masterpiece that continues to captivate audiences with its layered narrative, powerful themes, and technical innovations. Its impact on the art of filmmaking cannot be overstated, and IT remains a testament to the power of storytelling. If you haven’t experienced the magic of Citizen Kane, IT is highly recommended to add IT to your watchlist and witness a truly transformative cinematic experience.