After the Joker, Batman faces terrorists led by the formidable and imposing Bane in “The Dark Knight Rises”. If the past of this antagonist brilliantly embodied by Tom Hardy is partially revealed in the film, Christopher Nolan has deprived the spectators of a major scene of his evolution.
The Dark Knight Rises : death and rebirth of the Dark Knight
Eight years after Harvey Dent’s death, calm reigns over Gotham. Batman is missing and is held responsible for the death of the prosecutor. Bruce Wayne lives holed up in his mansion while his business goes bankrupt. In this context of fragile peace, a new threat emerges, personified by Bane. After the chaos wreaked by the Joker, this former excommunicated member of the League of Shadows accurately distils terror through the streets of the megalopolis, dreaming of completing the unfinished work of his mentor Ra’s Al Ghul. Enough to convince the Dark Knight to reappear …
This is how begins The Dark Knight Rises, conclusion of the epic trilogy signed Christopher Nolan in which Christian Bale dons the Batman costume for the last time. In this blockbuster released in 2012, the superhero confronts Tom Hardy massive and determined to see “the flame rise”. In addition to the usual supporters played by Michael Caine, Gary Oldman and Morgan Freeman, Bruce Wayne can count on the help of the thief Selina Kyle, played by Anne Hathaway, for this grand finale, as well as that of a young cop incarnate. by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Marion Cotillard, Ben Mendelsohn and Matthew Modine complete this formidable cast.
An underestimated performance according to Christopher Nolan
If the spectators can only rely on his impressive voice and his particularly expressive gaze, Tom Hardy is in no way eclipsed by the other members of this prestigious cast. On the contrary, the actor is one of the strengths of The Dark Knight Rises, playing on heavy gestures, serious speech and an ability to switch from one emotion to another with the majority of his face hidden under a mask, as he demonstrates in a masterly way from the introduction. After his transformations for Bronson and Warrior, the british star takes 13 kilos of muscle to appear believable in Bane’s shoes.
Last December, when he appeared in the podcast Happy Sad Confused, Christopher Nolan ardently defends the performance of the actor whom he also directed in Inception and Dunkerque. The filmmaker declares:
What he (Tom Hardy, note) did with this character has not yet been fully appreciated. It’s an amazing performance, and truly amazing. The voice, the relation between the simple fact of seeing the eyes and the forehead. We had a lot of talk about the mask, what it would reveal and what it would not reveal. I remember he put his finger to his temple and said, “I want to play with this. Just leave that visible.” It really is a performance.
Part of Bane’s past hidden
The events that caused Bane’s injuries are partially brought up through flashbacks in The Dark Knight Rises. If we see his past in the prison where he locks Bruce Wayne after defeating him, a key scene of its evolution was cut during the editing. In an interview with GQ in 2012, costume designer Lindy Hemming said:
You should have seen during this sequence Bane injured in his youth. Basically, with his costume, he’s got this scar on his back. Even if he is not wearing a bulletproof jacket, he must always wear the posture belt and shoulder straps. In this scene in prison, where he learns to fight the same way Batman learned, he wears a primitive version of his posture belt. (…) There is a whole section where we see Tom Hardy fighting and being attacked by people. He wears chains and is on a wooden thing as people attack him. In this scene, he’s wearing a DIY, more primitive version of his mask.
Christopher Nolan therefore chose to deprive viewers of the “birth” of Bane’s costume. A decision that preserves the mystery and aura of the character.