Tenet is a mind bending spy story directed by Christopher Nolan who has now invested his dime in the segment of time inversion. Although, time inversion is a complex phenomenon to understand, but try not to go too hard on yourself. Christopher has been researching for this concept for 20 years and only began writing in 2014. It was a long shot and you shouldn’t expect to understand everything in one watch especially when it’s intensely pacey. Tenet is an art, and some forms of art take time to understand. Have you ever stared at an artistic painting for too long? Trying to figure the hidden meaning behind it? Precisely, Tenet is on the same par and it will take a couple of re-watches for you to self-reveal the hidden gems.
Every individual enclosed in a theatre is under a peer pressure to understand it in one go. It is not possible. You can’t prepare for an IIT level exam in one day and on similar lines is a concept that has been in the making for 20 long years. Take it easy. Enjoy the experience. Trying to focus too hard will only end the ecstasy of Nolan’s phenomenal cinematic beauty.
TIP: If you have watched and digested ‘Dark‘, then Tenet can be a cakewalk. Just Kidding!!
The question here is not, ‘Why Should You Watch Tenet?’, but the real question is, ‘Why Should You Watch Tenet in Theatre?’
Tenet is Fast Paced and Gripping
Tenet begins with a BOOM!! in the opera house and it gives you no time to click pictures and share on Snapchat. It won’t show you beautiful landscapes or high altitude drone shots, it’s 0-100 in the very early seconds and from there it’s unstoppable at least till the intermission. Time and Inverted-Time is very important and Nolan ain’t losing a micro second. Tenet begins to surround you like an Anaconda and tightens it’s grips with the cinematic experience it has to offer. You only ponder what’s coming next and internally decoding/analyzing the visuals. That’s it, he has had you in his grip. Mission accomplished.
Mind Bending Storyline and Intense Structure
In Interstellar, we witnessed a journey not just in space and time but also in the undiscovered terrain of black hole. In Tenet, we are now taken through the thematic world of time inversion. The story is mind as well as time bending. Christopher Nolan has brutally challenged our perceptions towards time and nature. He has challenged how we think and have made up our minds on some unshakable accepted truths of our existence. With bullets travelling in reverse direction back into the magazine after every shot fired is thought provoking.
Christopher Nolan has kept something common between Inception, Interstellar and Tenet and that is the strong essence of ‘Love’. Love transcends dimensions in space as we saw in Interstellar and the same love serves as a much required motivation for the characters to push their limits and help save the world in Tenet. Cat’s (Elizabeth Debicki) love for her son and the Protagonist’s ( John David Washington) desire to see Cat live as a free women with her son while eventually feeling and falling for her. Love has a special importance in Nolan’s storyline. He captivates on the strong and pure emotion like love which is a creation of nature. He uses this invincible force to bind characters and make them walk an extra mile.
The scenes are strategically planned and placed, charted over the course of almost 3-4 years in the writing. The Protagonist and the Antagonist (Kennith Branagh) go in and out of the time inversion curve using the device called Inversion Turnstile. The temporal pincer movements are the scenes where you will question yourself, “Hurt your head?” The high-paced, road raging action sequences to be fair are very precise, merciless and realistic. The swift action is bidirectional with concept of reverse entropy kicking in and throttling the laws of nature knows to us. The build up to the climax which comes with by-default Nolan’s twists at the Soviet Closed City are exemplary.
Fact: The Airliner crashing the free port in the above slide is a real one and not a CGI. Nolan wanted his action sequences to be as real as possible.
Just like in Interstellar, Nolan has yet again postulated his theme on environmental damage. The future earth is inhabitable due to melting ice and poisoned air. The root cause for inverted time travel is for the sole purpose of the future beings to stop us from raising global temperatures. But in their survival they are willing to end the forward reality. That is where the secret organization Tenet is brought in to unearth this conspiracy and save the world from this doomsday with a huge huge twist waiting at the end.
Impeccable Editing & Visually Astounding
Shot in 7 countries and almost entirely on IMAX by renowned cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytenna who has previously collaborated with Nolan on Interstellar and Dunkirk, Tenet is a visual spectacle with it’s impeccable editing by Jennifer Lame and is best enjoyed in the theaters with the thundering background score by Ludwig Goransson. The IMAX magic does the work with some beautiful landscapes shots that will leave you in awe and make you want to plan your next travel destination.
Tenet unlike any other movie jumps from real time to inversion and vice-versa. Also, there are scenes where inverted and real time scenes cease to exist simultaneously. Editing such scenes must have been a real task and a life-time experience for editor Jennifer Lame.
Tenet is story driven film, which Nolan even reminded his editor when she wrongly judged as action driving it. And, the characters are the ingredients that drive the story forward, acting as it’s wheels. Christopher Nolan for his baby Tenet roped in John David Washington as his Protagonist who has delivered a promising performance. John is carrying the weight of the entire film and is strongly backed by the supporting characters that include Robert Pattinson (Neil), Elizabeth Debicki (Cat), Dimple Kapadia (Priya), Michael Caine (Michael Crosby) and Kennith Branagh ( Andrei Sator).
Tenet is a Cinematic masterpiece which has an insanely developed storyline. Director Christopher Nolan has raised this baby for over twenty years and delivers as exact for the repute he carries. When I say cinematic experience, it hails with all the elements to it, never heard before fresh story line, swift & speedy nerve crackling action sequence, concepts to rattle your brain, a truly impounding visual universe and the sound tack that will raise your heartbeats.
Tenet is a once in a lifetime visual experience. Pay your gratitude to this artistic masterpiece directed by legendary Christopher Nolan. But, only in theatres.
Share this review with your known peeps if it helped you to take a call. Thanks for reading.