This is why I go to movies; Tenet (2020) is an action-packed spy thriller, a resplendent cinematic experience with Nolan’s mind-bending screenplay and mastery direction.
Nearly a year after not going to theatres in this horrible year, Tenet brought happiness to cinephiles with theatres’ opening and reminded streaming services cannot replace the theatres. With its ground-breaking visuals (not talking about the cheesy green screen CGI like other big-budget movies do), also reminded, a commercial tentpole movie can be an artistic and original movie like all Nolan films proved.
Nolan is always fascinated with time; He has exceptionally known for his brilliant non-linear screenplays; in Memento (2000) movie, the script presents two different sequences; one is chronologically the other is reversed. In Inception (2010), the story takes place within a dream; in the recent war film Dunkirk (2017) three-story arc is told over different time frames. In Tenet, he took it to a different level that no other writer could reach.
Tenet starts like a stylish spy thriller with many spectacular practical effects, stunts, action-packed combat. It moves to the mystery, sci-fi genre. Tenet’s title, a palindromic word (which reads the same backward as forward), indicates the crucial ten minutes battle, Ten forward, Ten backward. The story follows a CIA agent named the protagonist (David Washington) recruited in the Tenet organization to prevent world war 3. The protagonist learns an invention from the future that can reverse the objects’ entropy; when it happens, the items travel back in time. Like in a trailer where bullets fly back to the gun, birds fly backward. The protagonist partners with Neil (Robert Pattinson) to find the source of the inverted objects. This leads to Andrei Sator Russian arms dealer. With this journey, our lead actors learns it’s more than just reversing objects’ entropy, and the threat is far beyond mass destruction.
Some great directors believe the audiences are intellectual to understand a movie and have an eye for enjoying artistic direction; Nolan is one of them. He doesn’t bypass the New or complex ideas in the script by saying the quantum word every 15 min of the movie. A quote from Steven hawking the “reality is stranger than fiction” Nolan exactly shows with his picture. Nolan does the homework; he brings his imagination with actual physics and combines it with theoretical science. And for Tenet, he again recruited Nobel prize winner theoretical physicist Kip Thorne to advise on the script.
Did you know the actors learned speck in reverse? Also, they had to perform backward, including spectacular stunts for reversal scenes? The production team crashed a real Boeing 787 plane for the movie, and the obvious one, the film shot with monstrous Imax cameras? And many, many behind the scenes will amaze audiences and filmmakers. There is no denying that Nolan movies inspire and change the movie industry in terms of plot, technical aspects, and filmmaking. This movie is no different, or maybe it tops the Nolan list in some parts. Inception, Dark knight, Interstellar, and many like Christopher Nolan movies Tenet will stay with the audience for years, and conversation happens more than like Inception. Not only because of its beautifully complex story, but it’s also because of mastery direction and hard work that put that in the film. Even if the audience didn’t get the movie, they would revisit it because of its beautiful, captivating direction.
“What happened happens, which is an expression of fate in the mechanics of the world. It’s not the excuse to do nothing.”
Without significant support from the cast and technical crew, the director’s vision would not come to screen this perfectly. The action-packed stunts and mystery atmosphere wouldn’t be possible without the hard work and stunning performance of John David Washington and Robert Pattinson.
Without a doubt, the Tenet is the best-looking film of the year, thanks to Nolan’s dedication to practical effects. And his traditional Imax cameras. The movie feels authentic and gorgeous without the help of cheesy CGI, from crashing an airplane to jumping from a high-story building to SailGP boat racing. To put that in perspective, Star Wars Rogue Nation has 2000+ plus VFX shots, Avengers endgame 2500+ Tenet has only 250+ VFX shots, which are less than any rom-com movie. The inverted combat, the sequence with a mix of inverted and normal objects and people, the back-and-forth editing, everything will be eye candy no matter how many times the audience watches, especially the second half.
Cons: The expositions in the first 30 minutes can easily make the audience lose track of what happens, it’s hard to digest the new characters, story path, as introducing. Don’t worry as the story progresses; it will be more transparent. The soundtrack from Ludwig Goransson is absolutely fantastic. Its intensity gives a mystic vibe, but the mixing felt a little odd. The soundtrack overshadowed the dialogue. I’m glad the theatre I visited played subtitles.
Conclusion: In short, this is a Nolan movie; this is the reason we go to theatres. Tenet will remind the audience of the movie-watching experience in theatres with its futuristic technical crafting, explosive visuals. The original, mind-bending plot was only achieved with Nolan’s direction. My Rating 8.5/10.
Director: Christopher Nolan
Cast: John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi
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