Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers for Thor: Love and ThunderChristian Bale: One of the most famous actors in the world and yet one of the most difficult to recognize when you watch his films. Losing or gaining multiple stones for a role is just another mundane office task for the actor, who has become known for his drastic physical transformations. He’s played drug-addicted boxers, American vice presidents, and insane sociopathic serial killers. None of these characters look alike (and most of them look nothing like Bale in his spare time) but they all have one thing in common: they demand that Bale don an accent. When the actor won a Golden Globe in 2019 for his portrayal of Dick Cheney in Vice, people watching were shocked by the actor’s cockney accent.
Yes, Bale is British. He was born in Wales and grew up in Bournemouth in the south of England (which isn’t exactly Cockney accent country, it’s the East End of London, so I’m not sure how Bale ended up looking like his co-star Michael Cain). You wouldn’t be blamed for thinking he was American, as the actor has only played British characters a handful of times in his career, most recently in Ford versus Ferrari where he played real-life race car driver Ken Miles. But, alas, the actor returns to his roots in Thor: Love and Thunder. Bale plays the main antagonist, Gorr the God Butcher, and it makes perfect sense for the character to have a British accent.
For many people, their Batman is Christian Bale. Christopher NolanThe trilogy brought a sense of terror, existentialism, and reality to the superhero genre and it remains the high bar that people compare Marvel and DC to. Even years later, movies, especially The black Knight, are still celebrated and discussed at length, and we haven’t quite seen a superhero movie quite like them for Batman to enter the MCU, a much more colorful, funnier, and airy environment than dark and decrepit Gotham. of Nolan, it might have been hard for audiences to fear Gorr. Sometimes you can’t look past the actor. This is where the accents come in. Bale, even though he plays the accent closest to his own, puts us at a distance by playing Gorr with a British drawl. No remnant of Cheney, Batman or Patrick Bateman is on screen. Bale gets a new slate, upon which he builds the terrifying Gorr, who just might be the scariest villain the MCU has given us to date.
Gorr looks like Voldemort if he had a decent plastic surgeon. His lips and skin are cracked due to the harsh conditions he and his daughter had to endure, forgotten by the gods despite their unwavering devotion to them. He walks the line between human and alien, and as his story and desire for revenge progresses, our fear of him also increases. Unlike Voldemort, Gorr is not a greedy man, he does not seek power, but wants to avenge his daughter and her people, and kill all the Gods for their greed and their abuse of power. It’s hard to say whether Gorr is right or not. Murdering someone is never the answer, but there is a Robin Hood element to his character, taking down the powerful so mere mortals can have a chance at a better life.
Despite our understanding of his motives, Gorr is absolutely terrifying. A character with nothing to lose is the best way to up the ante, and we see Gorr go from a murderous psychopath, even resembling Hannibal Lecter in his Thor taunts, to a broken man who just wants to see his life again. daughter. Whatever emotion or sentiment Gorr is presenting at any given time, Christian Bale is no less dedicated than he would be in a biopic or Oscar-worthy drama. And the British accent only adds to it. There is no trace of Bale. As sensational as Chris Hemsworth is in this movie, you’re very aware that you’re watching Chris Hemsworth. It usually doesn’t detract from the visual experience when it comes to the hero, but for a villain, the actor’s identity must be sucked dry, so a menacing monster can arise, and c is exactly what happens in Thor: Love and Thunder.
It can also be said that Gorr’s accent is a reminder of the Thor the franchise’s Shakespearean roots. This is most evident in the film’s opening sequence. After Gorr buries his daughter and nearly dies himself due to the harsh conditions, he finally finds food and water in a colorful garden/jungle. While feasting on fresh fruit, he is scolded by Rapu (Jonny Brugh), his god and that of his people. Gorr explains that despite his grief and loss, he remained devoted to the gods. Gorr expects to be rewarded for his loyalty and servitude, but Rapu mocks and humiliates Gorr, completely out of phase with the sacrifices made by Gorr’s people in the name of the cult.
This scene between Gorr and Rapu can be directly compared to the story of King Lear. A petulant and impetuous king disregards his most ardent follower and thus leads to his slow but painful descent into madness and, ultimately, death upon himself. Rapu’s own demise is brought about by himself and his cruelty to Gorr and his people. Gorr could be an extension of the Fool or Cordelia, or even Edmund if you want to look at it from a revenge angle, making Rapu Gloucester. The King Lear the parallels are reinforced only by the presence of Simon Russell Beale in the film, who plays Dionysus, the god of wine, theater and entertainment. Beale is an established stage actor with extensive Shakespearean experience, including his performance as King Lear in Sam Mendes‘ stage production at the National Theater in 2014. However you want to look at it, there are touchstones of Shakespearean tragedy. If Bale used a flawless Patrick Bateman American accent, it wouldn’t have the same impact, or offer the same sense of tragedy or theatricality to this scene.
That’s not to say that if Gorr had an American or German or Spanish or Devil accent, even Daniel Craig’s “Texan” drawl of Knives out this Thor: Love and Thunder would be a complete mess. But, Gorr becoming all-British means Christian Bale has more of a mask to hide in and puts greater distance not just between us and him, but also between Gorr and the characters he’s played before. It is ironical; by playing a character with an accent closer to his, he becomes less recognizable. But hey, it works! Couple that with how it just drives the pervasive presence of Shakespearean tragedy which isn’t as noticeable as in the first two Thor movies but is used sparingly and cleverly to raise the stakes of Gorr’s journey, and you’ve got yourself a very good dialect decision.