Monday, February 06, 2006

Citizen Charles Foster Kane

I watched "Citizen Kane" yesterday afternoon. It is a wonderful cinema. A real piece of art should I say - not from acting-cinematography-music-lights-direction points of view, but from a literary point of view. It is a story of a newspaper baron - Charles Foster Kane.

"Rosebud" - his last word before he dies triggers a re-journey through his life. How he came to be the owner of one of the moderately read newspapers of New York - the inquirer - and how he transformed it into a hugely successful one, en route to becoming one of the richest men. The story takes us to his declaration of principles - a front-page box article in which he declares how he wants his newspaper to be pro-people which in essence has a communist flavour added to it. The story also takes us to this incidence when he tries to "sell" his second wife's singing "talent" to the nation, misusing the readership strength of the newspaper - how he fires his partner Jed (who later sends the handwritten draft of the declaration of principles back to Kane) - essentially, how his princliples that he started off with and the decline of those.

Towards the end of his life, he is deserted by all his colleagues, his wife-and-son, everybody. On his deathbed, in one of the biggest palaces on the Earth, he is alone. When he dies, he mumbles, "Rosebud". And this word puzzles the people, the news-hunters, his colleagues- everyone.

"Everyone is an artist when he is a child. The challenge is to maintain the artist inside when one grows up" I remembered this quote when the end of the movie approached.

Rosebud, well, is the word engraved on his childhood snow-skateboard (or was it a skateboard?). Perhaps the purest and cleanest object Kane once possessed and lost. Kane eventually ends up in losing everything he earns (or more than that actually). And at the end of his life, he misses the purest little thing and all the pure emotions the most.

One of the better movies I have ever seen. Certainly.

No comments: