Analysis of Citizen Kane
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Analysis of Citizen Kane
At the age of twenty-five, Orson Welles produced, co-wrote, directed, and starred in the film, Citizen Kane. Although it was a commercial failure, it was nominated for nine Academy Awards (winning one for writing) and was declared the number one movie of all time by the American Film Institute in 1998. This controversial film is said to be based on the real-life American icon and newspaper tycoon, William Randolph Hearst. Americas supposed number one movie may better be understood by taking a closer and more intimate look at the films conflicts, characters, and theme.
No film is complete without an intriguing conflict, and Citizen Kane is no exception. Wealthy newspaper tycoon, Charles Foster Kane faces an internal battle with himself in his constant search for the happiness that he lost as a child; however, he also has an external battle with Jim Gettys, his corrupt opponent for political office. If Kane does not succeed in regaining his happiness, he knows that he will die as a lonely, discontented man. If he loses his conflict with Gettys, Kane will not only lose the office of Mayor of New York City, but will also lose his first wife, Emily. Despite the fact that Kane is a man of incredible materialistic success and power, he still has a strong lack of joy. He attempts to fill the void within himself by gaining more power (which is why he runs for mayor) and by obtaining more possessions. Despite his attempts, he is still fragmented – this endless journey for self fulfillment magnifies the theme of the complexity of a life.
The lives of several characters in Citizen Kane intertwine to recreate a fragmented outline of the life of Charles Foster Kane. Kane serves as the films protagonist. Throughout the movie, he is in search of something that will make him feel whole; He desires the simple happiness that he had as a child. His political opponent, Jim Gettys, fulfills the films role of the antagonist. Kane aims to reach political success through his wildly influential newspaper, New York Enquirer, but Gettys tears him down by unveiling an affair that Kane is having with the young Susan Alexander. After this unraveling of the truth, Kanes life takes a turn for the worse.
In a movie filled with so many holes, breaks, and flashbacks, it is nice to have a unifying central theme on which to rely in order to piece the film together. Citizen