Thank god for DVDs. They mean I can actually enjoy movies in their original language, a reprieve from having to watch movies dubbed into Spanish on terrestrial TV. The Spanish do dubbing appallingly. When I watch a foreign language film, I watch it in its original language with subtitles. I want to hear the actors’ voices and appreciate the nuances of their performances, but I do appreciate that as the majority of movies are filmed in English, it’s unreasonable to expect people in non-English speaking countries to sit down to a diet of subtitled ‘foreign language’ films. Could you imagine the outrage there’d be in Britain if the main TV channels aired subtitled movies during primetime?
So, I suppose the Spanish have no choice but to dub movies, but they could at least make a decent attempt at it instead of using the same couple, a fat bloke and his wife from Burgos, to provide the voices for every movie and every character in it.
The result is that Dakota Fanning sounds as though she’s a sixty year old midget with a forty a day habit and Will Smith sounds as though he’s a Mexican bandit holding up a stage coach. In fact every female sounds the same, as does every male. Irrespective of age, sex, nationality, ethnic background, the voices are always the same.
It raises the question, how on earth do the Spanish (I say Spanish, cos I’ve seen dubbed German films and they seem to use actors who actually sound a bit like the person they’re dubbing) know who’s a good actor and who isn’t? What’s an award winning performance and what’s a bag of shite? Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino, Brad Pitt, Denzel Washington, Gérard Depardieu– all sound exactly the same, Mexican bandits the lot. Charlize Theron, Julia Roberts, Halle Berry, Keira Knightley likewise; all washed up hookers who’ve been on the booze and ciggies for far too long. It’s enough to drive you to hold up the Wells Fargo coach. Actually, I’m being unfair, there is one exception to the rule; good old Sean Connery. They can do him pretty well, but then can’t everyone?