Wednesday, December 21, 2011

NEWS: Fwmnfm. Fmmnmnm. Rfrm. Rawr. Bfffffrrrm? (Translation: The Dark Knight Rises' Bane Leaves Audiences Confused)

Cinema goers lucky enough to catch the extended prologue to The Dark Knight Rises (currently attached to IMAX viewings of Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol and now circulating unofficially online) have voiced their concerns over the movie's protagonist Bane and his... interesting vocal performance.

As covered at The Hollywood Reporter, Bane - portrayed by Tom Hardy - is, at times, almost impossible to understand in the 7 minute action sequence, thanks to the combination of the Venom mask he wears and his unusual accent (which, having heard it myself, I'm struggling to place...) The general consensus seems to be that the action sequences are superbly staged but the delivery of Bane's dialogue has left many viewers puzzled as to what, exactly, is going on.

The Dark Knight Rises prologue was really great, especially when Bane spoke the soon-to-be-classic line: 'Mmrbl ffrmrff hmrbblfmm,'" wrote one fan, states THR.

Writer-Director-Producer Christopher Nolan is unrepentant, however and - according to sources - is only planning to do some minor tweaks to the audio mix. According to one unnamed Hollywood exec, “Chris wants the audience to catch up and participate rather than push everything at them. He doesn't dumb things down. You've got to pedal faster to keep up.”

Nolan's approach seems to be that his visuals are enough to give context to the motivation and story and has stated in the past that it's OK not to understand what's being said, as long as the basic idea was conveyed. Whilst it's admirable that he wants to challenge the audience rather than have them simply passively absorb what's going on between bites of popcorn, having a character who simply cannot be understood is a worry, especially given that The Dark Knight Rises will no doubt feature numerous action sequences. And that means audiences will be left not only trying to comprehend the chief protagonist's dialogue but they'll be doing so against a background of explosive sound effects and dramatic music.

We'll see what The Dark Knight Rises lands in cinemas next year, but ahead of that, here's a clip of Bane talking that illustrates the problem perfectly.

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