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Analyzing the Masterpiece: A Review of Citizen Kane

Analyzing the Masterpiece: A Review of Citizen Kane

In the realm of cinema, few films have achieved the level of acclaim and recognition that Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane has. Released in 1941, this iconic film revolutionized storytelling techniques and redefined the possibilities of the medium. In this article, we will delve into the depths of this cinematic masterpiece, exploring its themes, production, and impact on the filmmaking industry.

I. Setting the Scene
Citizen Kane begins with the enigmatic character Charles Foster Kane uttering his final word, “Rosebud,” before his death. This single word sets the stage for a narrative that delves into the mysteries and complexities of both the man and his legacy. The film takes us on a journey through Kane’s life, exploring his rise to power, his failed political ambitions, and his lonely existence in his final years.

II. Innovative Filmmaking Techniques
One of the key reasons Citizen Kane has stood the test of time is its revolutionary use of filmmaking techniques. Orson Welles, who both directed and starred in the film, employed various innovative methods to tell the story. These include deep focus photography, where both the foreground and background remain in sharp focus, and low-angle shots that emphasize the towering presence and power of Charles Foster Kane. Additionally, the nonlinear narrative structure, with its use of flashbacks and overlapping dialogue, was groundbreaking for its time and still influences filmmakers today.

III. Themes and Symbolism
Citizen Kane delves into a multitude of themes that resonate with audiences to this day. One predominant theme is the destructive nature of ambition and the pursuit of power. Charles Foster Kane’s relentless drive for success ultimately isolates him from genuine connections with people, leaving him alone and unfulfilled. The film also explores the blurred line between private and public life, as the media scrutinizes and distorts Kane’s image. Furthermore, the symbol of “Rosebud” represents the unattainable happiness and innocence of Kane’s childhood, which he loses amidst his insatiable lust for power.

IV. The Impact of Citizen Kane
Citizen Kane’s impact on the filmmaking industry cannot be overstated. Its innovative storytelling techniques and unique cinematography opened up new possibilities for filmmakers, inspiring generations to push the boundaries of their craft. The film’s critical success was not immediate, as IT faced resistance from powerful figures in the industry. However, over time, Citizen Kane gained recognition as a work of art, and IT continues to be celebrated as a landmark in cinema history.

In conclusion, Citizen Kane remains an iconic and influential film that deserves its reputation as a masterpiece. With its innovative filmmaking techniques, thought-provoking themes, and powerful performances, IT continues to captivate audiences decades after its release. Orson Welles’ creation has left an indelible mark on the cinematic landscape, forever changing the way films are made and appreciated.


Q: What is the significance of “Rosebud” in Citizen Kane?
A: “Rosebud” represents the innocence and happiness Charles Foster Kane experienced in his childhood. IT is a symbol of his desire for a simpler life and the yearning for the things he lost amidst his pursuit of power.

Q: Why is Citizen Kane considered a groundbreaking film?
A: Citizen Kane introduced innovative filmmaking techniques, such as deep focus photography and nonlinear storytelling. By pushing the boundaries of traditional filmmaking, IT paved the way for future filmmakers to experiment and redefine the art of cinema.

Q: How did Citizen Kane impact the filmmaking industry?
A: Citizen Kane revolutionized filmmaking by introducing new narrative structures and storytelling techniques. IT inspired filmmakers to think outside the box and pushed the boundaries of what was considered possible in a film. Its impact can be seen in countless films that followed, as directors incorporated similar techniques and themes into their work.

Q: Why did Citizen Kane face resistance upon its release?
A: The film faced resistance from powerful figures in the industry because IT was perceived as a critique of media moguls, including William Randolph Hearst. These figures used their influence to try to suppress the film, leading to limited distribution and screenings.

Q: How has Citizen Kane impacted modern cinema?
A: Citizen Kane’s influence can be seen in various aspects of modern cinema, including storytelling techniques, cinematography, and character development. Many directors and filmmakers continue to draw inspiration from the film, paying homage to its innovative approach and its exploration of complex themes.

In summary, Citizen Kane is a film that defies time, serving as both an artistic achievement and a cultural landmark. Its innovative techniques, thought-provoking themes, and powerful storytelling continue to captivate audiences and inspire filmmakers. Citizen Kane will forever hold its place as a cornerstone of cinema history.