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Tenet is another chaotic Christopher Nolan movie

With a generous budget, the movie has flawless production, casting and grading. However, the deliberately confusing plot does a disservice to the amazing cast
Thu, Dec 02, 2021

One of my favourite lines in Tenet is when Laura (Clemence Poesy) says the following as an instruction to The Protagonist (John David Washington): "don't try to understand it", because that is the whole movie summarised.

Please, just do not try to understand it.

Tenet is one of those movies where I just know that the problem is not limited to me. The cast itself was lost throughout the filming of it. Do yourselves a favour and YouTube search 'Tenet Cast Confused', to prove my point. It is classic Christopher Nolan, and by that, I mean he had enough budget to entertain all his ideas in one place and it definitely showed.

I will not take the musical score or the cast's wardrobe as a point of redemption either. From my initial watch, I thought the styling might be the most impeccable thing about this production. But upon third watch (just to fine-tune and make sure), I have come to the conclusion that not even the Oscar-winning costume designer could make this movie make sense for me.

Jeffrey Kurland – renowned for his work on Inception (also directed by Nolan) as well as other fan classics like Erin Brockovich – did a stellar job at making the boys look super sexy and suave on Tenet, but that was about it. At most, I was attracted to Robert Pattinson for the first time in my life and I'll at least credit the movie and wardrobe for doing that. Now, let's get into it.

This movie is so on brand for Nolan, from the budget to the many ideas housed in one place – I can see why it cost $200 million. Essentially, what I am saying is that if Memento is in your top 5, then I can understand why this movie might be a masterpiece for you.

Without saying too much or offering too many spoilers, I'll say this: Tenet is the type of movie that keeps you on the edge of your seat from the onset, purely because it keeps you on the edge of your seat enough to signal you into paying attention.

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As a viewer who has reserved her opinions for years about Nolan up until now (I thank myself for my bravery), I will say that my complaints aren't even that personal.

For the level of action and momentum the man is committed to, I would expect as much commitment to refining his scripts and plots in a way that honours the work of everyone on set. Washington deserved better, and so did Elizabeth Debicki.

You will, however, soon realise that you are wasting energy trying to justify why it might be too complex for you to understand. I remind you again that you shouldn't try to understand it. I'll offer it the following: the budget and execution definitely make up for what could be a confusing ride altogether.

Technically speaking, this movie is impeccable and I have acknowledged that part with every watch – from the production, to the casting to the grading. I cannot fault it on many fronts other than the heart of it: the plot, which fails to make sense of its very own self.

  • Tenet is streaming on Showmax