Initially, I was very excited to see a new release from the director of the Dark Knight trilogy, Christopher Nolan. Nolan’s films are wonderfully crafted, with insights on harrowing social and political struggles. Furthermore, Nolan enjoys directing films with complex storylines and character developments, such as Inception. Being a bold and adventurous director can be a great thing in the world of film, giving a sense of identity and originality.
This new release, Tenet, explores the premise of a Third World War and time being in retrograde. The cast includes The Protagonist, (John David Washington), Neil (Robert Pattison) and Kat (Elizabeth Debicki). The film takes the form of an action film, with intense and gripping fighting scenes and great use of CGI. The musical score for the film has to be one of my favourite aspects, adding much tension to this chaotic, albeit cliche, story.
I’m not even sure if Nolan would able to describe this film to his audience, but I will attempt to give an overview. The film begins with the unnamed protagonist, who is a CIA agent, taking part in a secret operation in Kiev. From there, the Protagonist rescues a spy held captive by Russian mercenaries (Robert Pattison) and discovers a unique weapon from the future. The agent is then captured by these Russian forces, who study the idea of erasing the past and creating entropy.
There is nothing wrong with a complex film, but it can be walking a fine line being genius or absurd. Tenet is the latter for me. It does not suggest anything original and is entirely based on stereotypes of war, science and politics. Of course, there is a Russian villain, American heroes and a damsel in distress to add a false sense of emotional connection.
Unfortunately, the story is just the tip of the iceberg for Tenet’s faults. The audio throughout the film is faint and I could hardly hear the actors. I have checked IMDB and other sources to see if this was an issue with the cinema I was in, but it is a common feature of the film worldwide. Additionally, the film becomes tedious after 60 minutes and loses its entertaining gravity. The acting is dry and lacking character.
In conclusion, I have a feeling this might be a polarising film for Nolan and non-Nolan fans alike. Tenet has received much praise by the reviewing community, but I think it’s worth considering that this is an abstract release. Do not go in expecting an easy-going film with a cohesive narrative.
Eleni Cola – Guest Film Review