I couldn’t spoil Tenet as I had no clue what was going on
Jewish Telegraph, August 2020
CALL me a radical, but I like to know what is happening in a film.
I enjoy a clever film that makes me think . . . as long as I can understand what is going on.
Christopher Nolan has made a number of clever films, such as Memento and Inception. I love both those films and they stand up to repeat viewing.
But director and writer Nolan has tried to be too clever with Tenet.
Before the film started, we were asked not to include any spoilers in our reviews. I couldn’t include any spoilers if I tried because I was lost from the start.
In fact, I wish I had read some spoilers which might have helped me follow the ‘storyline’.
All I know is, there was some action, some exposition, more action, more exposition, guns, explosions, fighting, backwards stuff . . . and Kenneth Branagh with a Russian accent.
I was so looking forward to Tenet. It was meant to be released a few months ago, but coronavirus put an end to that.
And, as it really needs to be seen on a big screen, it was decided not to release it on streaming services but to wait until cinemas reopened.
If I had watched it on home, I’m not sure I would have survived the full two and a half hours.
I can’t criticise star John David Washington. I loved him in BlacKkKlansman and he gives a great performance in this as the Protagonist, ably supported by Robert Pattinson, the wonderful Elizabeth Debicki and the scene-chewing Branagh.
The film features some incredible set pieces which have things happening in the present as well as things happening from the past. So you have to pay attention or I would recommend gaining a physics degree before seeing Tenet.
Near the start of the film, a scientist played by the under-used Clémence Poésy advises the Protagonist not to try to understand what is going on — although she might as well have been looking straight down the camera lens to deliver that line.
It says something when a film about a man falling into a vat of pickle and re-emerging 100 years later is more believable than Tenet.
After watching both Inception and Memento, I wanted to watch them both again to make sense of the bits I didn’t understand.
But I can’t imagine wanting to see Tenet again, at least until I get my physics PhD.