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Over the course of his groundbreaking "Dark Knight" trilogy, Christopher Nolan has become famous for his viral campaigns, such as the "Why So Serious?" teasers that led up to 2008's "The Dark Knight." Today, however, he has unexpectedly been thrust into a very different campaign: The presidential campaign, as political pundits on both sides of the aisle are using "The Dark Knight Rises" as an allegory for the race between President Obama and Mitt Romney.
Why so serious? Because the fate of the free world is apparently at stake, that's why.
Of course, it's not entirely surprising that people are already discussing the new film's story about a terrorist named Bane who attacks Gotham's wealthy and elite. After all, one of the things that has made Nolan's films so great is that they do have a message, and just as "The Dark Knight" was seen by many as an examination of our nation's post-9/11 mindset, some critics are already viewing "The Dark Knight Rises" as a response to the ongoing recession.
Still, what is surprising is that both Democratic and Republican wonks are drawing a much more linear — and seemingly unlikely — connection between "The Dark Knight Rises" and the current presidential campaign, suggesting that the villain is named Bane as commentary on Romney's former role as the head of the multi-national financial corporation Bain Capital.
"Do you think that it is accidental, that the name of the really vicious, fire-breathing, four-eyed, whatever-it-is villain in this movie is named Bane," pundit Rush Limbaugh asked on his radio show according to Entertainment Weekly. "There's now discussion out there as to whether or not this was purposeful, and whether or not it will influence voters.
"This movie, the audience is going to be huge, lot of people are going to see the movie," he continued. "And it's a lot of brain-dead people, entertainment, the pop-culture crowd. And they're going to hear 'Bane' in the movie, and they are going to associate Bain. And the thought is that when they start paying attention to the campaign later in the year, and Obama and the Democrats keep talking about Bain, not Bain Capital, but Bain, Romney and Bain, that these people will think back to the Batman movie — 'Oh yeah, I know who that is.' There are some people who think it will work. There are some people think it will work. Others think — 'You're really underestimating the American people who think that will work.'"
And while Limbaugh may be the only one calling fans of "The Dark Knight Rises" "brain-dead people," he's not actually wrong that there is a discussion about this naming coincidence. In fact, Democratic strategist Christopher Lehane, a former aide to President Bill Clinton, made that connection himself earlier this week, despite the fact that Bane has been battling Batman in the comics since 1993.
"It has been observed that movies can reflect the national mood. Whether it is spelled Bain and being put out by the Obama campaign or Bane and being out by Hollywood, the narratives are similar: a highly intelligent villain with offshore interests and a past both are seeking to cover up who had a powerful father and is set on pillaging society."
Who knew, right?
You just can't make this stuff up.
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