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Tenet: Nathan's Movie Review

Nathan is a film critic and aspiring author with a true passion for the film industry & hopes his writings will help launch his careers.


"Don't try to understand it, just feel it." - We hear that early in the film, almost certainly a message from Christopher Nolan himself to just sit back and enjoy the ride because all will be revealed later. All was revealed later, in bits at a time, just how Nolan likes it. He never gives away everything at once but instead gives you a piece at a time so you can put the puzzle together yourself.

Tenet follows our main character, only known as the Protagonist, who is introduced as a mercenary of sorts. We don't really see much about his past because he is caught and takes a cyanide pill in order to save his fellow comrades' lives. He awakens later, his life saved by an organization named Tenet who wants to hire him for a mission. The Protagonist sees this as a second chance and takes the mission. He discovers, however, that this is going to be unlike anything he's ever seen before. He is debriefed about inversion, the ability for some to manipulate an object's temporal energy to reverse its passage in time. So, for instance, if you fire a bullet you can invert the bullet and have it reverse back to the gun. The Protagonist, along with recruit Neil and an abused wife-to-a-terrorist Kat, must weave through this new territory of time-manipulation and stop a terrorist from literally ending the world.

The thing I loved most about this film was the score. Ludwig Goransson has a remarkable mind. Although he pretty much scored small films for a good 8 years, he finally landed his big break when he scored a little show called Community, which led to some blockbusters like Creed and Black Panther, and now he's the composer for The Mandalorian. It is a bit surprising however that Goransson landed the job for Tenet rather than Nolan's usual go-to Hans Zimmer but I'm not complaining. Goransson added intensity and urgency to each scene, building upon the already mind-boggling story.

The acting in this film was great, the usual level for a Nolan film, but Elizabeth Debicki was by far the standout performer, Kenneth Branagh being a close second. Elizabeth brilliantly performed as a desperate wife wanting out of a marriage based on bribery and blackmail. Her character is a victim of abuse and has reached her breaking point. Debicki surpassed believability and absolutely sold the character.

Christopher Nolan once again created a masterpiece. This man has never made a bad film. Make a list of his movies from best to least and the movie on the bottom of your list is guaranteed to still be better than 90% of the movies out there right now. Nolan's films are intelligent, masterful, and they make you think. They make you participate along with the characters. The cinematography is beautiful, as is the direction and the writing. That's another thing I love about Nolan, he writes AND directs his films. He doesn't just interpret other people's words, he creates his own vision the way he wants it done, much like James Cameron and Quentin Tarantino.

In conclusion, if you're a Nolan fan like I am or if you just love a good puzzle, go see Tenet if theaters are open where you live. I can't stress how great it is and I am already looking forward to Nolan's next film. I give Tenet a 4 out of 4.

© 2020 Nathan Jasper

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