Sunday, June 24, 2012

Citizen Kane Review for Blu-Ray Elite!!!

Orson Welles’ 1941 drama, Citizen Kane, is hailed by many as one of the greatest films ever made. I have always wanted to see this film, mainly because of that bold statement. Being a part of the Warner Bros. blu-ray elite program, I finally got to witness the intelligence of Orson Welles and the masterpiece that is Citizen Kane. The film was written, directed and also stars Welles as the title role, Charles Foster Kane. Citizen Kane focuses on a newspaper tycoon that lives a tumultuous life and then dies, uttering his last word which was ‘rosebud.’ When the press learns of his death, people go through great lengths to discover what rosebud meant to Kane. The private man never really expressed emotions and never revealed his life to anyone. One man’s job is to discover what rosebud meant, and leads the audience through different characters’ point of views of Kane.

Citizen Kane is absolutely brilliant. The cinematography is truly mind blowing. Welles was way ahead of his time. You have to truly watch this film with the mindset that this was filmed in the 1940s. The entire film was perfectly shot. The beginning scene when the audience learns of his death, and the butler walks in is magnificent. Then, the scenes where the characters begin to report their knowledge and stories of Kane are interesting because they begin to talk and then the scene with them and Kane begin. Sure, we’ve all seen bigger and better now that it’s over 70 years since this film was shot, but like I said you have to observe this film as if you are watching it in that time period.

The acting in the film is astounding. Welles captures the essence of a wealthy, broken man that never truly experiences love and friendship. One of the last scenes in this film, Welles’ character finally emotes. The intense anger and passion he expresses and watching it unfold before your eyes is part of the reason why this film is great. It gives the audience what it wants. Finally, a breakthrough for Kane, finally he lets lose and conveys the emotions everyone wants to witness. Joseph Cotten is great as Jedediah Leland, Kane’s best friend and one of the many writers for Kane’s famous newspaper The Inquirer. Dorothy Comingore is dramatic and over the top in her portrayal of Susan Alexander Kane. I say that as a compliment, because surprisingly being dramatic and over the top works for her in this film. Ruth Warrick also delivered a fine performance as Emily Monroe Norton Kane, Kane’s first wife. She was conservative and sweet and the audience feels for her character.

The storyline in Citizen Kane is actually quite simple. The whole premise is the question of what does rosebud mean? The entire film has the audience at the edge of their seat guessing about the meaning of rosebud. Thankfully, we do find out the meaning (I was very nervous that we would never know!) and when we find out, it’s genius. Welles knew his audience and in a single shot summed up everything. It’s touching and will truly make anyone feel for the character that is Charles Foster Kane. Also, the blu-ray is awesome. It's the 70th anniversary of the film and is packed with photo cards, books, and a ton of special features on more than one blu-ray! If you're a big fan of the film, definitely pick up the 70th anniversary collection today.

In conclusion, I as well as many have to admit that this is one of the greatest films ever made, not the greatest but definitely one of. Citizen Kane is highly recommended for anyone who enjoys dramas, mysteries, old movies, Orson Welles, and films that are packed with award winning acting, an intriguing storyline and the thought that everyone has a tale to tell, but only some know how to tell it well.

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