A Millennial’s Review on an American Classic: Citizen Kane (Spoiler Free Even if This Movie is More Than 70 Years Old)


As a BA Communication student, I’m expected to at least be knowledgeable about “the greatest films” in history, of which, I fail to be. Because I want to redeem myself and because I have a class report about it tomorrow, I watched what critics consider to be a classic and the greatest, Citizen Kane.

I’ll say it right now that when I watched it, it’s not something that will keep you on the edge of your seat. It’s not something you expect out of a blockbuster movie, instead, this movie requires you to be analytical about it. Every little detail has subtle meaning from the way the actors are blocked, the way the scenes are framed, how a scene is lit, how the dialogue has deeper meaning than just the surface, etc.

Many of the shots done are revolutionary for the time, considering that the movie was released in 1941. The amount of thought put into the framing of each scene and how the camera pans and moves are all carefully planned out and show innovations of camerawork that Hollywood still uses to this day.

Now, I’ve been praising the technical aspect and its cinematography but how does the plot of Citizen Kane hold up? First of all the structure of the plot is, again, revolutionary, for its time because it uses a lot of flashbacks and relies on the memories of Kane’s associates and who were close to him. The actual story however is… rather boring. Now, don’t get me wrong, the way it is told is interesting if you have a lot of background knowledge on film, but if an average Joe watched this, they might be asleep halfway through it.

It’s a smart movie and it’s something that can only be truly appreciated by those who love films (not just modern day films). The rest will simply find it boring and a little peculiar if they watch it all the way through.


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