• Name: Tenet
• Year: 2020
• Country: UK, USA
• Director: Christopher Nolan
• Main cast: John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Kenneth Branagh
• Runtime: 150 minutes
• Production company: Syncopy, Warner Bros.
10 years have passed since Christopher Nolan shacked (again) the world of action-packed science-fiction with Inception (2010). The movie came out exactly a decade ago, in the summer of 2010. And now, history repeats itself. Nolan has delivered another 2 hours and a half masterpiece designed to merciless blow up our brains. Open your mind and welcome with open arms this jewel called Tenet (2020).
Since it’s inception –no pun intended–, Tenet (2020) has been surrounded by a halo of mystery. In the era of spoilers, the filmmakers have managed to keep under a deep secret what the movie was really about. We only knew it was a spies movie, with some dosage of science-fiction, about a group of people trying to stop World War III. And technically that is correct, this could be the general plot of the movie. And we are not going to get deeper into the plot, you are not reading this text to ruin the story, we all hate spoilers. But I can ensure Tenet (2020) is much more. It is an evolution into filmmaking, into storytelling. Or maybe not so much of an evolution, it is only fucking Nolan’s way to conceive movies, to master the language of cinema in a way only he can do. Because you can like his movies more or less, you can think he is an annoying egocentric philosophe or a visionary creator, but one must agree that his movies are special and out there no other filmmaker can narrate cinema stories as he does.
Tenet (2020) is a special effects piece of jewelry. But, against what we are used to in mostly all the blockbuster movies suffocating the billboards week after week, this time the visual tricks are at the service of the story. And one must have all five senses dedicated to what is happening on the screen, because a lot of shit is going on, from minute one until minute 150. Nolan is not trying to explain different stories, this is not an ensemble film, there is only one story here, but many things are happening at the same time. Nolan knew what the audience would assume we know at every point of the movie, so we are at his mercy all the time. He lets us know and understand the whole picture piece by piece, one drop at the time. Sometimes we realize what we thought was wrong, some other times we finally see clearly something we didn’t fully understand at first, but it all is orchestrated by the superb script of the story, nothing is casual. Still, Tenet (2020) is the kind of movie that one needs several watches to completely understand, as Inception (2010) was a decade ago, as most of the best movies ever are. It was conceived, designed, and executed to be like that.
Leaving Christopher Nolan, his ego, and his privileged talent aside, Tenet (2020) is carried on basically by 4 characters played by John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Kenneth Branagh. They all accomplish their duties with full efficiency, even Kenneth Branagh, an actor I have always feel disgusted by his acting and his face. I know, this is my out-of-place personal opinion, but the man has as many fans as detractors, and I am one of the second group, but I still vouch for his job in the film. Robert Pattinson has probably made the movie that will make the world, at last, consider him a serious performer because this is by far the best acting of his career. John David Washington is the hero of the movie, the protagonist, and although he is the one with a shorter experience in movies he accomplishes with his role with no cracks. And Elizabeth Debicki is sublime as always, way beyond the typical damsel in distress in action movies, and with more expressivity and power in her eyes than in the entire Steven Seagal filmography. Rarely a face can share so many emotions, thoughts, honesty, and lies as what she achieves here.
A very good friend of mine, also die-hard fans of science-fiction and Nolan movies, told me he considers Tenet (2020) a suicide. I can see his point, I understand why he thinks that, but I cannot agree with the statement. Yes, I know, the world of movies and entertainment itself has mutated into something too conformist, where the talent or the story is not so important, and what prioritizes is to deliver a hollow product of entertainment to seel overprized popcorn and lousy unnecessary merchandise. A very expensive product that requires the audience to keep complete attention on the screen and make the brain work full throttle is not the best of the ideas for a moment like the one we are living now. But I think that’s not the point. Christopher Nolan must make a movie according to what he feels. His job was to make the biggest mind-fucking best spectacle as possible, and then it will be our job to digest it, absorb it, and –most likely– praise it.
Christopher Nolan has made his Batman trilogy, probably the most personal and spectacular superhero movies in the whole history of cinema. Then he did Interstellar (2014), a wonderful science-fiction story. And then Dunkirk (2017), a new twist on a very unswerving style as war movies, perhaps the war movie which is less of a war movie you can find. It is evident that the man has lots of talent and a very personal style that can blend into many kinds of genders. But it was the time for a new true Nolan-style movie, the time to remind us he is the best and only one out there to be able to do what he does. Because he did Memento (2000), then Inception (2010), and now it was the time for Tenet (2020). I can’t wait to see what never-seen-before mindfuck he is going to deliver in 2030.
If you have read this review until the end there is no other option, you are going to enjoy Tenet (2020). So stand up, go now to your favorite theater, and indulge yourself. And if you have already seen it, let’s virtually just shake hands and hug each other, our minds have been raped as we had wished, as we needed.
IMDB URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt6723592
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