As a film, Citizen Kane is a powerful dramatic story about the uses and abuses of wealth and power. It's a story about a man of great passion, vision, and greed, who pushes himself until he brings ruins to himself and those around him. Citizen Kane, is a good example of direction. Welles used skills of lighting, sound, camera movement and editing. This film did not only represent the theatre world of its time, but also set an example for future filmmakers and directors. .
The film opens with a memorable image of a castle in the distance on a fog covered hill, a gothic shot which establishes Citizen Kane's mood. This place, called Xanadu, is the home of Charles Foster Kane, a newspaper businessman. Within moments of the film's eerie and visually pleasing opening, Kane is dead, muttering the word "Rosebud" as he hunches over. His death, like his life, is a big news event, and the paper he owned is desperate to unearth the meaning of his last word, "who or what is Rosebud?" The truth, which isn't revealed until the closing scene, represents a huge irony, and leads us to believe that, on some level, Kane regretted not having led a simple, quiet life. Kane, the only child of a simple peasant class couple, finds himself thrust into a new world of fortune and destiny when a family holding turns profitable. Kane is adopted by investor Walter Parks Thatcher and given access to a top education. His fortune continues to grow and as he comes of age, he develops a passion for newspaper publishing, and purchases a newspaper of his own. He meets Emily Warton and is married after a short courtship. The marriage is an unhappy one. Kane becomes increasingly self obsessed, His high hopes, and his marriage are finally broken when his affair with singer Susan Alexander was exposed. He weds the singer, the marriage fails, and Kane lives his remaining years in the giant mansion he built for her.
Citizen Kane uses a variety of different settings and objective lighting that overwhelms the audience.