Tenet (2020)

Title: Tenet

Year: 2020

Genre: Action | Sci-Fi |

Runtime: 150 min

Director: Christopher Nolan

Starring:  Robert Pattinson, John David Washington, Elizabeth Debicki


Armed with only one word, Tenet, and fighting for the survival of the entire world, a Protagonist journeys through a twilight world of international espionage on a mission that will unfold in something beyond real-time.



Walking into the mind of the director Christopher Nolan, you don’t often know what to expect in the end. Whether it will be good or straight out decent. As many directors have a variety of quality once in a while, Nolan knows how to make a solid film. The most film doesn’t have set the bar so high as he does. He delivers whether of the film he’s creating. As he is a master of creating an intricate universe with a complex system, he knows how to tell the story further in an entertaining way. Even with a film that varies from The Dark Knight – Trilogy, Inception, Interstellar or Dunkirk. He gives an experience in cinema worth taking no matter what. Often his film ain’t straight out bad. They engage people as he invites them on an interesting journey from one universe to another.  Telling with imagery, practical effects, and a solid complex story that both executive and moviegoers pleases might be the strongest pursuit for the filmmaker, Nolan has also a tendency to reevaluate his potential as a director.  With the pandemic ongoing for almost a year now, Tenet was initially supposed to restart the cinema business once more and recalibrate the economy for the struggling artist and theatres.

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Even though the film tries to explore the opportunity of delivering promises of an insightful spy world with to top-actors for the time being, his latest instalment doesn’t live up to its promises. Tenet supposedly was to achieve the hype it had at the beginning of the year when Parasite took a grand slam at the Oscars but as the pandemic turned up-side-down on everything, Tenet wasn’t the film that achieves the potential it could’ve.

With Robert Pattinson in the lead and John David Washington by his side, you could expect a more grandeur and more interesting interaction in the story. Washington delivers a soulless and strangled performance as the Protagonist compared to his effort in BlackKklansman. However, Pattinson gives more of a mystic and more intriguing performance even if you don’t really know him until the end. As the story progress, Washington’s character goes in a world of spies from the future as there has been a machine that can turn time backwards. That’s right. Backwards. Even with the concept of time-travelling, not meeting yourself and the mystery of time, the sensual in the more action-packed scenes delivers it promised potential.  The lack of explanatory doesn’t exist as more enough of exposition is deliver full though. Everything is explained or oversimplified for the audience. The attention to details is emerging but the thrill of the narrative or the characters doesn’t share my intuitive excitement as watching Nolan’s Inception.

The visual effects as usual get what’s promised but it withholds as the long runtime and the pure intention of constantly seeing people going backwards for the story sake, is occasionally absurd. Nolan’s admiration for practical effects plays out well. Then we’ve Kenneth Branagh and Elizabeth Debicki who portrays an unhappy married couple where plot interacts in their life.  Their interaction feels flat and their side story doesn’t lands well compare to the rest of the narrative. There is a lot of flying and moving between countries which in the becomes exhausting just as the Indian woman that Washington’s character talk sometimes with.  Although, it’s interesting to see other places in Europe like Oslo and Tallinn.

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In the end, the film lands flat. It tries to go big but the heart and soul for the character cripple the movies potential and the hype prior to the release is untangled. Christopher Nolan has done better with his filmography and skills, even if there were few exciting pieces that will keep you interested.

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