A film about a man’s last words and a reporter attempting to find the meaning of those words. This film, in my opinion is a massively over rated film.
The story is overly complex and seems to miss its own plot, as the reporter is supposed to be trying to find out the meaning of the word “rosebud” by asking Charles Kane’s close friends. However, it ends up being a long extremely boring string of anecdotes from working with Kane to being his lover. The length of these ‘anecdotes’ are way too long and pointless, as none of them even come close to finding the meaning of “rosebud” and just seem to be a chance for some pensioners to talk about the ‘old days’ to someone that will actually listen.
There are some good points of the film, for example, the scene in the newspaper editing office. Leland seems to break the 4th wall by seeming to stare down the lens and say, “I’ll keep that piece of paper, I have a feeling it will come in useful someday.” As the same piece of paper makes an appearance in the second half of the film, in a letter from Leland to remind him of the promises he made as a younger man, this was a good example of foreshadowing as Leland seemed to know that Kane as a person might change and become something he isn’t. The film then takes an anticlimactic turn as the reporter, stood in Kane’s mansion, starts chatting to the people in the mansion clearing it out, and he just seems to give up on what he’s looking for, as if it just all of a sudden doesn’t bother him anymore so he just accepts defeat way to easily.
There are some good shots used in the film, for example the rally scene, where instead of a live action crowd they used lots of cut outs to replace the crowd. For the time the film was made, it looks very technical, at a time when computer effects didn’t really exist or weren’t very good.
Overall, I think this film isn’t anything special as it seems to avoid its own purpose of finding rosebud, and anecdotes about an arrogant and self-destructive billionaire, who, for some reason, tells every one he meets that he owns a newspaper. The characters seem to just be there and don’t seem to have much depth to them. Technically, the film is quite good but doesn’t make up for the story and the disappointing ending.