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Newspaper Tiger

Forget the fact that busloads of polo-necked critics have considered this movie as the greatest American film ever made.

movie reviews Updated: Jan 20, 2012 16:43 IST

Citizen Kane: 70th Anniversary Edition

Reliance Home Video/Warner Brothers, Rs 499

Rating:*****

Forget the fact that busloads of polo-necked critics have considered this movie as the greatest American film ever made. Forget that this is a cinematic classic that if you don't see, you'll be able to appreciate only the philistinic glories of Titanic and Twilight. Instead, watch this 1941 Orson Welles movie for its sheer drama and entertainment. This is story-telling on film at its best. Citizen Kane is essentially a faux biography of newspaper magnate (what they call media baron these days) Charles Foster Wallace, who is based on the real-life figure of William Randolph Hearst. Director Orson Welles plays the role with dramatic aplomb, Kane's story being told through a series of flashbacks. This 70th anniversary DVD edition has done a stunning job of digitally remastering the original. Welles and his cinematographer Gregg Toland were stunning in their use of the film as a series of black and white set pieces and this becomes immediately clear in the crystal clarity of this dvd. Guru Dutt fans will get some serious ideas.

Also, a great value-add is the bonus feature of a commentary by film journalist Roger Ebert who places the film in cinematic context. (Even though he tells us what we know after watching the film about the 'crucial' deathbed uttering of "Rosebud" by Kane.) But let that not deter you. It's still a great story told wonderfully on celluloid-turned-disc.