Citizen Kane is a film about Charles Foster Kane, a man who is known to be the greatest tycoon newspaper that ever lived in American history. He is one of the most powerful and richest in America, if not globally. The intensity of his wealth can be measured by the lavish castle he built, which he referred to as Xanadu. The film begins with the panning of the camera across a seemingly deserted spooky Xanadu in Florida estate. The camera then showcases a ‘No Trespassing’ sign at the castle’s gate, but luckily manage to light across the house through a lit window. An old man is lying on a bed-like slab. The camera then majors on the man’s lips, and one word is whispered ‘rosebud’, as he drops a globe, which then tosses the floor and shatters, and finally, the old man perishes. This paper examines the sequence events in Citizen Kane and how the sequence promulgates to key themes of Kane’s character and the film in general. It also illustrates how the sequence metaphorically and literally conveys Kane’s growing distance from his second wife and his continuous withdrawal from public life.
The film kicks off with a group of reporters trying to interpret Kane’s last words. To examine the meaning of rosebud, we are taken through a series of flashbacks all through his life until his initial moment of kicking the bucket. Through immense investigation by reporters, viewers are displayed with Kane’s fascinating rise to power and his downfall. One of the reporters seeking to find the meaning of rosebud comments that he doubts if a single word can elaborate on the life of a man. From this, we note that rosebud is the security emblem, innocence, and hope of childhood, a man can spent eternity to regain. Reporters trace evidence to a child who was separated from his family to be a servant at mammon. Kane later builds his idealism and runs a news paper company in his adulthood. He then marries his first wife who happened to be the niece of the US president, in the process gaining additional powers and losing his soul. Regardless of his fame and money, he still yearns for happiness to fill the gap of his lost youthful idealism.
While still married to his wife, Kane started having an affair with a terrible singer during his governor campaign. He was involved in an anti-corruption platform and assured to conquer his opponent. His opponent however found out about his affair and threatened Kane to step down or else he risks exposing his infidelity. Kane refused to step down and this resulted to his exposure upon which he not only lost the elections, but also his second wife divorced him. He then married his mistress but their marriage was not blissful since he mostly used the drunken singer for public manipulation to accomplish his selfish interest. His selfish interest and manipulation was reflected through his second wife when she opted to quit singing, but Kane would not let her.
In conclusion, it is evident that the movie is filled with the visual moments of bravura. The character of Kane is portrayed through his last word. The movie ends without a clear meaning of his last words, though it is believed that his character chronicles around rosebud. Consider, for instance, the towers of his lavish Xanadu, addressing of political rally by Kane, his indulgent with his mistress, the public exposure of his second wife in a nightclub, and a gunshot that deprived him his life. The film was constructed to showcase how our lives linger on in other people’s memories, and how the same memories reflect the roles we played and clash the walls we erected once we are six feet under. This is demonstrated in the film by Kane who posited shadow figures using his hands, Kane who despised traction trust, Kane who lost his marriage and political career over a mistress, Kane who entertained millions, and Kane who perished alone.