Citizen Kane (1941)

June 20, 2017

It was just ok.

Ranked #1 all time movie by the American Film Institute, Citizen Kane was my next meal from the buffet.

I’m very meh about it.

It’s a well acted movie.
That dude Orson Welles is a baller for sure.

He wrote and acted superbly in the movie. Something about the way he looks, he’s got a strikingness to him. Superstar quality.

I came into the movie cold, with no prior knowledge. From the name & cover, I thought it would be some type of distopian future story.

The film is about a rich old guy who had just died, in his vast castle of a home, all alone, surrounded by all the things money can buy. The best statues, paintings, rare artifacts, and such.

The story then flashes back through his whole life, as told by his aquaintances.

His mom gave him away as a child to some rich guy for money. She didn’t want her husband to lay his hands on the boy any longer.

Kane grows up with millions to his name, thanks to that rich guy.

He’s a rebel and wants to help the working class. He wants to be a man of the people. So he takes over a newspaper and starts telling it like it is. The truth. The newspaper flourishes under his regime.

Soon though, he falls for his own hype and is surrounded by yes men and beautiful women. Loses his way with his original idealism.

Marries some niece or whoever of the current president of the United States. Kane has high ambitions.

The marriage turns into a bore. He hooks up with some young poor blonde who aspires to be an opera singer, but she’s really terrible. On the eve of his political victory, the news leaks of his affair. His career is ruined.

On and on the story goes further downhill. There is no happy ending.

As the film went on, I got the feeling that this wasn’t a general “don’t be like this guy” warning story, like Scrooge from A Christmas Carol, but rather based on some real life character from that time.

A quick wikipedia glance told me that the story is based on a rich powerful media mogul named William Randolph Hearst. I think the guy was so big time, he tried to ban the movie from being released.

Maybe Citizen Kane was a powerful film that exposed & brought down that guy back in the day. I don’t know.

But if you never knew that part of the story, then this movie would be just a sad tale about an unloved young boy, who tried turning rebel, was super selfish, and in the end dies sad and alone in a huge walled castle full of stuff.

It’s a downer of a movie with not much universal appeal for me, other than don’t be a selfish materialistic rich douche. That point, I already knew and agreed with.

Could the guy have redeemed himself at some point in his life or was his childhood so terrible that he was a lost cause?

Gimme something more appetizing for the soul.

Citizen Kane