The film “Citizen Kane” is the story of Charles Foster Kane and told using flashbacks from his life and using more that one narrator. Orson Welles directs and also plays the role of the principal character in this movie. It was first shown to the public in 1941. As the movie goes on each one of the narrators gives a different opinion on Kane, some positive and others negative. At the beginning of the movie it does not make a lot of sense but as more stories and narrators opinions about him are added the story starts to build up.
At some times the stories told are confusing and out of sequence so the flashbacks don’t follow a time sequence and trend to overlap into each other. One important thing used during the filming and edition of this movie was the technique used, deep focus or also known as the wipe technique, is used when an scene is recorded in a low angle shot and there is not a specific point of focus, you can see what people is doing in the background and in most of the scenes it goes with the plot.
The lighting technique used is really important because many shadows and bright whites were visible giving the audience a better visualization of the scenes. While I was watching the movie I found out that what Kane was trying to do will all of the flashbacks and stories told was to remember his young years and know what other think about him, specially close people that worked with him at some point in their lives.
He was a person that had a lot of money so he actually buys happiness and love, one clear example of this is his relationship with his second wife, Susan, he gives her everything what she wants but at the end she tell him that he thinks that with a bracelet he will give her happiness and he thinks that that is all what she wants, but actually that’s not true, he is trying to buy her affection to him. One reason that makes Kane be how he is I think is the fact that he had to be separated from his parents when he was just a kid, and he never had that parents love everyone need in their lives.
This makes him who he is, a person that can?t have a stable relation with anyone if he don’t put money and gifts in between. I can see that in the movie before a flashback there is some narrators that say that money don’t buy happiness and that’s true. Motifs are something really important in my point of view in this movie; two of the most important are materialism and isolation. These two motifs are found in the principal characters. As we can see materialism plays a huge role in the movie as I explained before, Kane buys everyone’s affection with gifts or just by giving them money.
In the movie is mentioned that Kane had a huge collection of sculptures, when he went to his trip overseas for example, he was always sending more and more sculptures, and at some point there was no space in the offices that people cant even walk through them. Another clear example of materialism is that he builds the opera house just for his wife to sing in her own place, also when he lives in a real palace because it was Susan?s dream.
Through materialism what Kane is trying to do is to fill the empty spaces his childhood left him, he has a lot of money but at some point he don’t know what to do with it, he didn’t care if he loses $1 million per year in his newspaper, or if he buys the same statue twice, or simply have a lot of the things he buy in a room without even taking out the package. Isolation is represented in almost all the movie, since the beginning to the end, starting with Charles playing by his own out in the snow the day that Mr.
Tatches took him until the end when he is left alone in the palace. This isolation is visible in all the movie, he didn’t was that type of man who go and go out with other people, or couple trips, he preferred to stay alone in his house or in the office. There is a scene in the movie when Susan tell Kane to take her to New York, that she wants to hang out and have fun and get out of the place they lived, and Kane tell her that no, that this is what she wanted so now she will stay there.
Also when Kane tell here about the camping night with the other couples, Susan says something like are you sure you want to go, and you will make people go that far to just go and sleep in tents even if they have a confortable bed at their houses, and Kane just answered we are going. This is a proof of the motif, because it shows that Kane don’t like to be around people, he likes to be isolated like always.
In conclusion the movie Citizen Kane shows us the life of Charles Foster Kane narrated by different persons that got to know him personally and spend time together, this helped us to understand the true nature of the main character, why he acts the way he does and all this get together with the motifs present in this movie, materialism and isolation, this two and the narration of the other characters helped us built and understand Kane, why he is like that and the most important have a clearer final message of the movie.