Apparently, no one can understand Tom Hardy’s Bane in The Dark Knight Rises

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Now that a select, lucky few have been able to see footage from Christopher Nolan's upcoming trilogy capper The Dark Knight Rises, we on the internet can finally move away from rampant speculation based on blurry cell-phone pictures and start endless debate over details provided from other people about the tiny sliver of the film they have seen/are allowed to talk about. (Fun! Also, obviously, there will be slight spoilers coming from this point on. Consider yourself warned.)

Luckily, most of the reactions seem pleased with the short bit of prologue (which will also be shown before IMAX showings of Mission: ImpossibleGhost Protocol), generally agreeing that Nolan has kept the grand scope that made the first two films so enthralling. One other thing they agree about? No one can understand what the hell Tom Hardy, as main antagonist Bane, is saying. From The Hollywood Reporter:

It may be early in the sound mixing process, but a lot of key dialogue, particularly that of Bane, who speaks via a mask, was unintelligible.

And from Entertainment Weekly:

And prepare to scratch your head at much of Bane’s dialogue, which had most everyone in Thursday’s screening asking each other how much, if anything, they could understand.

And from the Daily Beast:

Many of those in attendance at the IMAX event commented that between the character’s labored breathing and quasi-English accent, he was impossible to understand.

As noted above, the movie is nowhere near finished, so it's possible that all these sound issues will be resolved. Of course, we've already had two movies' worth of contending with Christian Bale's gravel-on-sandpaper growl, so maybe Bane's unintelligibility is part of a larger theme, a statement on the unbridgeable divide that separates audience from character in modern-day popular cinema. (Someone who actually went to grad school should take a crack at that, because I have no idea what I'm doing.) All we need is for Catwoman to speak in a quiet purr-whisper the entire time, and this thesis is ready to go!