Of Tenet Movie review

When I listed the movies I had watched and reviewed in 2020 for the Best Of The Year series.. I got a couple of references to the movie Tenet and then as if that was a cue I started noticing mentions of the movie everywhere, some hated it, others loved it but everyone agreed that it was serious mind games… So I watched it.

Tenet

tenet poster

Tenet is a 2020 scifi action thriller written and directed by Christopher Nolan (the man behind Inception so you know its bound to get warped) Nolan apparently took a decade deliberating on the central idea of Tenet and the screenplay took five years to finish.

The movie packs stunning choreography and a stellar ensemble of John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Dimple Kapadia, Michael Caine, and Kenneth Branagh.

tenet movie cast

Upon trying to explain the laws of phyics and entropy in the movie, a scientist tells The Protagonist a simple solution which holds true even for the viewer:

Don’t try to understand it just feel it

This one of those movies that makes sense if you don’t think about it, but then you need to think about it for it to make sense… right from the title Tenet it begins with a Ten and ends with a Ten but inverted….

tenet palindrome

Fun fact the movies borrows its title, character and location names from a Sator Square or Rotas Square a palindrome of letters which can be read top to bottom, bottom to top, left to right and right to left.

sator square and the movie Tenet

In the movie Tenet, Opera is a place in the opening sequence, Arepo is an art forger, Sator the villain, Rotas a security company…

The Good

The choreography is insane with stunning visuals complete with mindboggling action sequences. The movie premise brings an interesting twist to time travel and its paradoxes. But fair warning once a movie starts tinkering around with the concept of time, one will need to suspend disbelief, logic and reason.

The Bad

Trying to keep track of whats happening the first time round can be a bit of headache inducing, you’ll probably have to watch it again, maybe even look up a YouTube Tutorials of The Movie Tenet Explained.

The sound mixing is a bit off with the movie score sometimes overpowering the dialogue you will definitely need to watch this movie with the subtitles turned on.

The Ugly

Either Christopher Nolan is a mad creative genius with a wild imagination or he is taking the audience for a ride, probably both, while the plot is paper thin when you spread it out linearly, in the convoluted storytelling of Nolan’s world it becomes an enigmatic experience that you have to talk about to someone, anyone…..  

Here is a diagram I drew up to explain the movie Tenet:

diagram explaining Tenet
Explaining Tenet

Final Thoughts

While this movie definitely wont be everyone’s cup of tea, having watched it will definitely equip you with interesting conversations to have with others who have watched it, whether you loved it, hated it or it didn’t make sense to you…

Its like Bitcoin nobody really understands that either, come fight me. ^_^

Have you watched Tenet, what are your thoughts ?

~B

PS We live in a twilight world….

50 Comments

  1. This movie hai! I liked it. Buthen again
    I LOVE MIND GAMES! It took me a while to wrap my hand around whats happening but when I did everything fell into place. I can’t say the same for the people I watched it with though

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love those psychological thriller type of movies I want my mind challenged.. And this definitely twisted knots haha the people I watched it say it was nonsense and I’m like but it was well thought out nonsense right? 🤣🤣🤣
      ~B

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    1. Hahaha you must definitely watch it just so we can compare notes…
      You can see I tried super hard not to giveaway any spoilers 🤣🤣🤣 yet wrote enough that you know what you are getting yourself into
      Cheers
      ~B

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  2. There are no friends at dusk..

    😂 This movie! My family and I had to pause and discuss theories as we watched it.

    Biggest theory, Neil is Sator’s son. And tenet literally means the last ten minutes of the movie.. for the team that was moving forward and for the inverted team.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Absolutely agreed and how about that Max(Sator’s son) full name Maximilien if you take the last four letter and invert them you get…. Wait for it Neil🤣🤣
      The last ten minutes are totally the Ten in Tenet 🤣

      It’s one crazy movie!!!
      ~B

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Ok, I’m back. This and other reviews have covered almost every temporal angle so I’ll look at something else. The subtle political statements made throughout the movie.

      The Protagonist, who I only realised at the end of the second watch that I didn’t remember his name, is constantly belittled in the movie. By the fancy restaurant concierge. By sir Michael whom he claps back with a comment the British don’t have a monopoly on snobbery. When he meets Kat, she says he’s out of his depth. Priya calls him “fresh faced as they come.”

      In spite of his outsider treatment Washington’s son owns it. Walking with a jazzy step and talking like a refined hustler who knows artists like Goya. By the end of the movie the protagonist has inverted his role and made everyone else the outsider.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I only realised when I got to the end that I did not know The Protagonist’s name and then it clicked that he didn’t have a name like Edward Norton’s character in Fight Club

        Also I didn’t know he was Denzel Washington’s son until much much later

        But yep in the end he is The Man, he was working for himself and didn’t even know it
        ~B

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    1. If you love a challenge then I definitely recommend you watch this movie 🤣🤣🤣
      It’s easily one of the most intriguing movies I have seen all year.
      ~B

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    1. Hahaha it’s an interesting movie I found it fascinating to see how differently people have reacted to it🤣🤣
      Happy Holidays Eugenia and here’s to a New Year better than this one
      ~B

      Liked by 1 person

  3. OMG! That movie was CRAZY!! We watched it Christmas day and boy did we have trouble following along. (We paused the movie just a few times and discussed what the heck is going on,?) It’s definitely one of those movies where it would be good to watch it again. But I like how they have to go back in reverse (or inverted) what ever they call it as it let’s you see what you didn’t know which helps out things and kinda puts things in perspective. Don’t want to give out spoilers, but definitely a movie to revisit! I didn’t know that was Denzel Washington’s son!! Very cool, and he did a great job! 😀

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    1. I am back ànd I finally watched. My head is the filled with questions. Some stuff I understood, others not so much.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’d seen bad reviews before watching it and that is what saved the movie from being a disappointment. Nolan’s brilliance (concept and attention to detail) is unquestionable but his storytelling is shoddy at best in this one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Likewise I had seen all the hate so I was very forgiving when I watched it and allowed myself to be pleasantly distracted by the set pieces
      ~B

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  5. Tenet is the most complicated action movie I’ve ever watched. I know it’s not a surprise coming from Christopher Nolan, but as a fan of his work, I must say that in order to prove about the quantum of time and the traveling back in time it’s really confusing at first and as the movie goes by it gets more confusing into what actually does the character wants. But in the end the Protagonist has been trying to tell himself since the beginning, “whatever happens, happens”. To be honest, trying to end the movie is probably simpler to understand. This movie is more complicated that the relativity of time in Inception.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha Tenet is weird I didn’t think a movie would out complicate Inception but Tenet managed to do that although in the crazy world of time travel I think one called Predestination really takes the cup, in fact it takes the whole damn bottle.

      Much as I “understand” enough of what was going on in the movie one question that still bugs me as with all time travel what happens in this case to the inverted time lines do they eventually disappear? Is there a parallel alternative timeline running inverted instances ? OK my head is starting to hurt🤣🤣
      ~B

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      1. Predestination like the Johnny Depp movie? lol

        I don’t think they disappear unless they’re dead right? One thing I learned from Nolan’s movie is that you can time travel whenever and wherever as long as you’re not dead 😂 hope this answers the question as maybe I might be confused as well.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Predestination is an old movie and I am fairly sure Johnny Depp isn’t in it but if hand can’t remember the cast… It’s about A time travelling agent trying to stop a bomb.

        Haha I know right…. Sometimes I don’t even know what exactly is the question I want to ask… Like the part when the protagonist is taught about reversed objects and then picks up bullets by first dropping them… Wait what? 🤣🤣
        ~B

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      3. OMGG it’s Ethan Hawke! I remembered watching it waaayy back. It’s a cool movie. The one with Johnny Depp is Transcendence. Got mixed up lol

        Yeah when the lady taught him, I actually kinda confused too about that and think that I think what the movie is trying to portray is going beyond what it’s suppose to be HAHA

        Liked by 1 person

  6. 😂😂😂😂😂 love the diagram and the joke in the end haha Watching this tonight. Just thought I’d see some ideas bec I heard it’s complicated haha

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yess I did!!! I wanted to talk to you about it. Hahaha but nvm. 😅🙈 I’m glad I finished it I thought I wouldnt bec I wouldnt understand but fortunately I did. Hahahah

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It makes sense eventually, to a certain extent… But even now I have questions I want to ask Christopher Nolan first one being what does he smoke 😂
        ~ B

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Took me sometime to get around to reading this. Wasn’t disappointed. Now the rotas stone. I never thought about that for some reason.
    My opinion is that it’s not Nolan’s best film. Even when it is filthy rich in concept and effects, it lacks the emotion that movies usually go for.

    Shall we call brain warping an emotion? I don’t know. Last ten minutes? Not enough there. Viewers were still recovering from the mind f*. Black mirror usually knows how to bring in the emotion to psychological bits.

    But If one is looking for an ‘inception-ier’ film. They have it. I’m a huge Nolan fan though. Nice Beaton.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll agree that it’s definitely not Nolan’s best there’s something lacking and that tried to cover it up with mind warping diversions 🤣🤣
      Spin you around till you forget to ask questions like but how the hell does this not have a name 🤣🤣

      I love Black Mirror

      ~B

      Liked by 1 person

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