Dec 19, 2011

NEW DARK KNIGHT RISES TRAILER: In Defense Of Bane's Weird Garbled Voice

First, check out the new trailer, including our first good look at Selina Kyle and he apparent defense of the 99%.  Click it here for glorious HD.






So here's the thing...

I've now seen the Dark Knight Rises prologue in IMAX twice.  Between that and this new trailer, most people walk away complaining that they can't understand Bane, essentially writing him off as an incomprehensible character.

I say that's a load of hooey.

Yes, the character has a peculiar sort of accent which is only complicated by the modulating style of vocal distortion.  As opposed to Batman's constant deep gravel, Bane's will jump from a low growl to an almost cartoonish high timbre and back again all over the course of a single sentence.  Understanding Bane therefore requires a real dedicated focus on the part of the viewer, er, listener.

That being said, once you actually pay attention to the words coming out of his mask, he's perfectly understandable.  His single menacing line here ("When Gotham is ashes, you have my permission to die.") sounds crystal clear and the one line I have trouble understanding in the prologue (The second to last one, just before "The fire rises.") is more muddled by all the airplane noise than by Bane himself.

I think the real problem here is that it's so unlike anything you're accustomed to hearing that it's catching people WAY off guard and their ears simply don't have the chance to adjust.  Once an audience is actually watching the movie itself and they're listening to that voice for the better part of two and half hours, (not to mention being able to place his lines within the context of the larger scene and the dialogue of other characters) I think people will adjust fairly easily.  It reminds me of the first time I saw Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.  I couldn't understand what anyone was saying for the first ten or fifteen minutes.  By the end credits, I was in love with the language.

Personally, I say kudos to Nolan for making such a bold and unquestionably interesting choice.  Those choices are what set him apart from the majority of directors working today.  Even if this particular gamble doesn't pay off, I'd rather see him taking provocative risks then just churning out Bat-films.  Besides, worst case scenario you go to see the movie again to decipher whatever lines you couldn't make out the first time. I wasn't already going to see this movie twice...

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