Citizen Kane (1941)

Citizen Kane (1941)

1941 NR 119 Minutes

Mystery | Drama

Newspaper magnate, Charles Foster Kane is taken from his mother as a boy and made the ward of a rich industrialist. As a result, every well-meaning, tyrannical or self-destructive move he makes for...

Overall Rating

9 / 10
Verdict: Great

User Review

  • Citizen Kane might just be the most important motion picture in the history of cinema. "The greatest film of all time". "The most influential piece of cinema ever". "Orson Welles is the best actor to have ever lived". "Technically flawless". Can we just take the time to appreciate the praise this film has acquired since 1941. It is undeniably rare for a silver screen picture to stand the test of time, but Citizen Kane has. However, the monumental rave for this classic naturally heightened my expectations to astronomical heights. Chronicling the life of the fictitious tycoonist Charles Foster Kane, a journalist attempts to uncover the meaning of his last word "Rosebud". There's so much to admire about Orson Welles. To have the audacity and confidence to direct, produce, co-write and act in his first motion picture is impressive to say the least. His transition from theatre to screen felt seamless. Technically, this film is masterful. Welles' use of lighting to create shadows, symmetry, long takes and innovative tracking shots have clearly influenced many films since its release. The flashback narrative structure was pristinely incorporated to create a cohesive story about a man who slowly becomes corrupted with money and power. Acting was superb, particularly from Welles, considering this was a screen debut for the majority of cast members. There's nothing much I can add that every critic hasn't already raved about. But. I must profess. I personally do not think this is perfect. The story, for me, just didn't keep me engaged consistently. Several scenes dragged on forever to a point where I started becoming distracted by my own surroundings. The showgirl dance scene, Susan's singing rehearsals and even the introduction which simply slowly zooms in on Xanadu. Maybe it's because I'm fairly new to classic films, or maybe I just found Kane to be an uninteresting character. We could all endlessly dissect this piece of art and write a dissertation on how perfect it is, and it is without a doubt technically perfect. But I shan't give it full marks just because every film critic has.