Sunday, September 06, 2020

Thoughts on "Tenet"

No spoilers. Promise. One thing that could conceivably be a semi-spoiler, but I think it's one you'll thank me for and I've put it at the very end with a label so you can avoid it if you want to.

My three-word review of the movie, as posted on Facebook:

Dude ... wait ... what?

Not a spoiler, you'll figure this out from the trailer: The premise of the film is all tied up with "time travel" of a sort. Director Christopher Nolan likes to make films that explore the nature of reality in general (Inception), the nature of time (Interstellar), the nature of perception/memory (Memento), etc., so that shouldn't be surprising in any case.

On a first viewing (there will be more, although likely on a smaller screen), it feels to me like Nolan bit off more than than viewers could possibly chew, swallow, and digest in 2 1/2 hours. Certain aspects of what people were doing, and why, were left, unresolved or at least not resolved to my satisfaction either as to the details or to the (imagine this) timing.

Tenet is beautifully filmed (and on film, not digital).

The action scenes are top-notch.

It's well-acted. Most of the character pairings' chemistries work well, except (in my opinion, of course) for the major one you'd expect to (the one between the protagonist and the female lead), and it may just be that I was expecting "the usual" and that that's not what Nolan was going for.

I wasn't unhappy with the film. I didn't wish I could get back the time spent watching it. It kept my attention, it constantly had me asking questions even if it didn't answer all those questions to my satisfaction, and it left me thinking about it afterward.

So no complaints other than dude ... wait ... what? Maybe there will be a sequel that wraps up the stuff I still find confusing.

Mostly, I was overjoyed to be able to go sit down in a movie theater and watch a movie. I only do that a couple of times a year, but it was a little overdue and this time it had the added benefit of a "return to normalcy" feeling after all the shutdowns (although the theater was "socially distanced" and such, I didn't notice much, since I usually go to movies well into their runs and the theaters aren't crowded at that point anyway).


In the first scene, watch for a red tag on a backpack. I missed it in that first scene, which made me slower on the uptake later.

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