Thursday, January 3, 2013

What the Fudge!


It’s not uncommon for me to flip through the TV channels and stumble upon a movie that I like and own. And even though it’s somewhere in the middle of the movie, I may watch it for a while even though it has commercials and has been edited for television. (I guess I’m just too lazy to put on my own copy of the unedited movie and watch it from the beginning.) So I’ll hear all sorts of edited language (as most non-children movies have at least a few curse words in them).

It’s rather distracting to hear dubbed over words; there are often odd pauses or pitch changes from the actual dialogue to the dubbed in dialogue. And sometimes the words they choose to replace the swear words are just ridiculous. To me, it makes the swear words even more apparent, like a red flag waving in the air: “Look at me! There used to be a ‘bad’ word here, but now it’s been replaced by an ‘okay’ word!” (Well thank goodness. My delicate feminine ears just couldn’t handle that rough cad-like language.)

Hearing that substituted language takes me out of the moment, and I pay less attention to the movie itself. It’s no secret when a swear word has been replaced, and sometimes you know exactly what word has been replaced, while other times you can’t help but run down the list of possible swear words in your head to figure it out. So really, eliminating that curse word just makes me think of more curse words.

It’s too bad they feel the need to edit the swearing because it sure downgrades the quality of the movie. Swearing can be necessary at times to show the progress of the characters and story. It can help portray the distress and anger that a character feels or give authenticity to a certain area or era and can create a particular ambiance. So when those swear words are changed to “appropriate language”, you lose part of that substance. Because once you start changing a finished movie, it’s no longer is the same movie.


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