What do these musical themes mean in TDKR?

The 2012 superhero epic about Batman's struggle to overcome the terrorist leader Bane, as well as his own inner demons.
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Posts: 16
Joined: January 2013
Location: Lethbridge, Alberta
I'm new to this forum, so forgive me if this has been answered in another thread. I've been studying the musical themes of the whole Dark Knight trilogy for a blog I run on film music, and came across two themes in the final fight between Batman and Bane whose meaning isn't entirely clear to me. Part of the problem is that the themes don't show up very often at all, so there's very little to go on.

The themes I'm talking about are in this clip, the first one starting around 0:10 and more clearly at 1:06, and the second at 1:46 and again at 2:28:



Any ideas on what these themes might mean?

If you're interested, I give my thoughts on several other themes in the finale here:

http://www.filmmusicnotes.com/musical-t ... ght-rises/

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Okay, I'm gonna just go with what comes to my mind first. The first one represents a sort of urgency as the threat of the bomb comes closer and closer to going off. The second represents the pure menace of Bane. The first time it plays in the scene, Bane's at something of an advantage. The second, he's at a disadvantage but at the same time just as dangerous as his rage and pain just builds and builds.

Interestingly, that gong is also used in Imagine The Fire but accompanied by Batman's motif.

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Ludwig wrote:I'm new to this forum, so forgive me if this has been answered in another thread. I've been studying the musical themes of the whole Dark Knight trilogy for a blog I run on film music, and came across two themes in the final fight between Batman and Bane whose meaning isn't entirely clear to me. Part of the problem is that the themes don't show up very often at all, so there's very little to go on.

The themes I'm talking about are in this clip, the first one starting around 0:10 and more clearly at 1:06, and the second at 1:46 and again at 2:28:



Any ideas on what these themes might mean?

If you're interested, I give my thoughts on several other themes in the finale here:

http://www.filmmusicnotes.com/musical-t ... ght-rises/
Hi,

Welcome on NF. I've always thought of the second theme as a mix between Bane's glory and despair. What I mean is, if you take the one at 1:46, it plays when he's starting to kick Batman's ass again. Just like it played when he was freeing the prisoners from Blackgate, I think it clearly intensifies his strength and somehow resonates his wild, animal, violent, brutal - you name it - side. It's not the Bane we see calmly talking to Bruce in the pit, it's just an animal trying to eliminate whoever will get in his way. He just acts.

Now if you take the second time the theme is playing, it's clearly at a higher note. It gives it a more dramatic insight. To me, it just sounds like Bane's despair now. Notice how the heavy drums kick in at 2:41 just as he is desperately unleashing his rage onto Batman. He knows it's his last chance of surviving, that if he doesn't eliminate him now, it'll be over for him. The theme gives this kind of desperate 'last minute chance' feeling that is accentuated by the heavy drums.

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SFT makes some good points with which I agree. I would like to add to his comments regarding the cue that starts at 2:28. Throughout the movie, up to this point, the "Deshi basara" chant was synonymous with Bane (as well as the pit). At the 2:28 mark when the primal-sounding drums kick in (very fitting for the primal rage Bane is now feeling and displaying like never before), we also hear primal-sounding voices, but it is not the "deshi basara" chant now; it is something unintelligible and driving, just like the blind emotions now driving Bane. (This is also the first time Bane verbally emotes during his confrontations with Batman. Once his mask is being destroyed, he's growling and snarling like a madman. I love it. Tom Hardy did such an awesome job with this character.)

I'm a soundtrack whore, so I'll have to check out your website, Ludwig (I'm assuming Ludwig is for Beethoven?). Welcome to the boards!

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Location: Neo Kobe
I presume it means they wanted to put in a new action / drama cue but at the same time keep everything familiar feeling, so the first two notes are found all over the scores for the previous movies but the continuation is a new melody. I don't think anything deep is going on.

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Joined: January 2013
Location: Lethbridge, Alberta
It's funny how once people point something out to you, it seems so obvious afterward. The things you're all saying about the second theme really seem to resonate with me about the emotions of the scene as they relate to Bane: the "animal" and "primal" sound, but also his rage and pain as well. It's like I knew how it felt, but not what it meant exactly.

Here's the clip that FrenchToast mentioned, with the same theme coming in at 3:28:



Here again, I think we can feel that sense of menace that darthnazgul mentioned in relation to the later fight scene.

As for the first theme, I think I agree with Code_R if you're saying that it relates to the two-note Bat-theme that's found in all the Dark Knight films. But I think it's different shape here is for more than the sake of variety. When I first saw the film, it stuck out to me, not only because it seemed like a clear homage to Elfman's Bat-theme, but also because of its sheer power. For the first time, we hear that two-note Bat-theme gradually rise (with falls in between), eventually reaching an octave higher than the first note, as though reaching some kind of success through struggle. That much seems clear enough to me.

But what puzzles me still is exactly what it is associated with. One thought that came to mind was the idea of Batman having "risen" in several ways in this scene. He's physically risen out of Bane's pit prison, he's risen spiritually by finding his fear of death once more and drawing on that to beat Bane in the final fight (as the inmate in the prison implied Bruce needed before his jump), and he's on his way to rising in public esteem by beating Bane and eventually saving the city.

I also think it's significant that (correct me if I'm wrong) this is the only time Batman appears in broad daylight. If that's true, it might be another signal of Bruce's spiritual rise to strength and confidence, or more specifically to self-knowledge. A progression from darkness to light is, after all, a traditional symbol for such a reading. But maybe that's going too far and reading too much into it. Any thoughts?

Baniac - yes, the Ludwig's definitely for Beethoven. He's my all-time favorite composer - I wrote a dissertation on his music and always have Beethoven on the brain, so the name just seems a natural moniker for me. I pretty much use it on all these online forums. And thanks - please do check out the site if you're interested in film music. I try to post twice a week and have a series of six posts on the Dark Knight trilogy. So now I have Zimmer on the brain! :-D

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