Sunday, September 26, 2010

Can't Buy Me Love

An old man lying in his bed loudly whispers “Rosebud.” He says these words like he’s trying to hold onto them, just like he’s trying to hold onto the glass snow globe that is slipping out of his hands as he desperately breathes that last word. Charles Foster Kane is dead and the newspaper headlines are filled with the story, of his life and his death. It is the biggest story hitting the headlines, everyone wants to get their hands on it and the meaning of Mr. Kane’s last words.

Flashing back on Kane’s life with the help of people who were closest to him during his life, the reporter listens to their stories of Kane and their experiences with him over the years. Charles was a happy kid playing out in the snow with his sled, when inside his house his mother and father were signing guardianship over to an extremely rich man so that he could have an extravagant life, something they felt they would never be able to give him.

When he grew up, he decided he wanted to work for a newspaper because he thought it would be fun. He rebelled against the rich man who raised him from boyhood who wanted him to have some boring job that would make him super rich. He always had rebellion in him and was searching for fun in life along with love. In other words he led a fairly selfish life focusing on his needs and not really considering anyone else for the most part. He was married to the niece of the President, had a child with her and the marriage grew cold and bitter to the point that they only saw each other from across the table at breakfast, both of their faces buried in a newspaper. Walking along the street one night, covered in mud from the rain, he met a girl who was to become his mistress. She was young, fun and wanted to be a singer. Kane got her into the singing business and he himself ran for governor. After giving a speech one night, his wife sends their boy off into a cab by himself and as it drives away it’s almost a flashback from his childhood when he got sent away. But then his wife tells him that she’s going to his mistress’s house and that he can go with her or not. He goes with and is confronted there by a reporter and his mistress. The next day the headlines of all the newspapers scream of his infidelity with a “singer”. Kane stays with the singer, buys a huge mansion and an enormous lot of land. She isn’t happy with this life or him and leaves after being bought off all the time and even hit one night when she confronts him for always buying her things instead of really loving her, or anyone.

Kane went through life trying to buy his happiness. He never loved anyone except himself and his mother, which his old friend from the newspaper business exclaims. All he cared about was making himself look honest and getting people to love him. At the end of the movie, nobody ever knows what rosebud is. But when we see the housekeepers throwing things all of Kane’s things into the fire, it closes in on a wooden slay with the name Rosebud painted on it. His whole life, he’s just been trying to gain the happiness he had as a child back.

People who loved the movie would probably value the meaning of the movie which was that you can’t buy love or happiness. To someone who hated the movie, like me, almost everything but the meaning of the movie meant nothing to them. Anyone who hated the movie probably just hated the whole rich, old, selfish newspaper guy aspect of it. For someone who values a good movie with an interestingly good lead character, and doesn’t care for power or strive to be loved by everyone it is hard to relate to the movie and therefore might not be seen as a good movie.


  1. Your blog has a very good and destrictive summary along with interesting opinions of the movie. I think you could have written a little more about why it is considered the best movie of all time. Overall, I enjoyed reading it.

  2. I both disagree and agree with Tiara. I disagree in that your summary is too descriptive. I agree in that you should have written more about why it's considered the greatest film of all time. You mostly did the opposite, and explained why it wouldn't be liked when, clearly, it's loved by most.

  3. You would have got an A plus if the question was about recalling the plot of the film.

    By the way, the second paragraph is quite direct. Or rather too direct. Anyway 'hate' is a mean word =(