Tenet (Christopher Nolan, 2020)

Discussions of specific films and franchises.
Post Reply
Message
Author
User avatar
therewillbeblus
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:40 pm

Re: Tenet (Christopher Nolan, 2020)

#201 Post by therewillbeblus » Thu Sep 03, 2020 4:16 pm

There's a fan theory going around that
SpoilerShow
Elizabeth Debicki's son, Max, is actually Neil, since Maximilien reversed would spell out Neil (as the first four letters, at least). I don't know how that would work, and if inverted Debicki can take her own son from school and invert him too without pulling him from the equation going forward(?) but it's fun to think about how long Washington could have known Pattinson and if he was a father-figure to him, even though it's a stretch.
I'm still trying to wrap my head around the mechanics of this one, and have it mostly figured out, but struggle with a few things.
SpoilerShow
First, the "temporal pincer movement" is a bit much, but as I understand it, this is not only how someone goes back a bit to get a leg up (i.e. Branagh in the Debicki shooting sequence) but how they actually begin inverting themselves to go backwards too? Like, isn't that scene the turning point by which all of our characters start going in reverse?

Is the Indian matriarch also inverted? Or only one version of her, and if so, which one? How does she receive communication from the future? If Washington kills her at the end, that's before she's alive to engage with him on various checkpoints of his forward-oriented self's mission, so it must be an inverted version of her, or change history which goes against all we've seen necessary for the loop to continue (like letting Pattinson die).

At what points, and how, can inverted people going backwards in time resume carrying themselves in the present moment, like Washington in the car at the end. There must be a point where he can interact normally with others, unless he's learning to speak backwards and go against time as a default language and movement. How could he form a relationship that develops in one unformed forward direction with Pattinson if they're going in different directions during their long history we don't see? I'm sure I missed something for this one..

Otherwise it mostly checks out and wasn't nearly as confusing as I initially felt, like during that ten-minute-countdown battle.

User avatar
MaxBercovicz
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2016 4:21 pm

Re: Tenet (Christopher Nolan, 2020)

#202 Post by MaxBercovicz » Thu Sep 03, 2020 4:36 pm

therewillbeblus wrote:
Thu Sep 03, 2020 4:16 pm
There's a fan theory going around that
SpoilerShow
Elizabeth Debicki's son, Max, is actually Neil, since Maximilien reversed would spell out Neil (as the first four letters, at least). I don't know how that would work, and if inverted Debicki can take her own son from school and invert him too without pulling him from the equation going forward(?) but it's fun to think about how long Washington could have known Pattinson and if he was a father-figure to him, even though it's a stretch.
I'm still trying to wrap my head around the mechanics of this one, and have it mostly figured out, but struggle with a few things.
SpoilerShow
First, the "temporal pincer movement" is a bit much, but as I understand it, this is not only how someone goes back a bit to get a leg up (i.e. Branagh in the Debicki shooting sequence) but how they actually begin inverting themselves to go backwards too? Like, isn't that scene the turning point by which all of our characters start going in reverse?

Is the Indian matriarch also inverted? Or only one version of her, and if so, which one? How does she receive communication from the future? If Washington kills her at the end, that's before she's alive to engage with him on various checkpoints of his forward-oriented self's mission, so it must be an inverted version of her, or change history which goes against all we've seen necessary for the loop to continue (like letting Pattinson die).

At what points, and how, can inverted people going backwards in time resume carrying themselves in the present moment, like Washington in the car at the end. There must be a point where he can interact normally with others, unless he's learning to speak backwards and go against time as a default language and movement. How could he form a relationship that develops in one unformed forward direction with Pattinson if they're going in different directions during their long history we don't see? I'm sure I missed something for this one..

Otherwise it mostly checks out and wasn't nearly as confusing as I initially felt, like during that ten-minute-countdown battle.
Image

User avatar
Swift
Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2012 3:52 pm
Location: Calgary, Alberta

Re: Tenet (Christopher Nolan, 2020)

#203 Post by Swift » Sat Sep 05, 2020 4:39 pm

At some point during the film, I realised this would probably take a rewatch to better understand the plot, but I also realised that I had no interest in actually revisiting this in the future. I love Inception and Memento and like his other films, but I think I'm tired of these kinds of puzzle movies where you hope you can go online afterwards to see if someone has posted a diagram explaining it all. It probably exists but I've no interest in tracking it down.

The plane, car chase and reverse fight scenes were neat but there's not much else worth checking out here. Washington has impressed me before but I felt he was way too low key here and I didn't buy him as a suave James Bond type figure infiltrating the ultra wealthy echelons of society.

User avatar
therewillbeblus
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:40 pm

Re: Tenet (Christopher Nolan, 2020)

#204 Post by therewillbeblus » Sat Sep 05, 2020 4:56 pm

I didn't buy him in the role either until I realized that he is not supposed to be a "suave James Bond type" figure, and his sensitivity is the key to what the whole film is about, which rejects that aloof position towards humanity

black&huge
Joined: Tue Dec 26, 2017 5:35 am

Re: Tenet (Christopher Nolan, 2020)

#205 Post by black&huge » Mon Sep 07, 2020 2:15 am

I am currently watching this and I didn't realize this but...
SpoilerShow
I was under the impression only a few big set pieces would be reversed or at least sporadic enough throughout turns out.... this entire movie is in reverse save for a couple parts and i' only an hour in. Or am I seeing this wrong? it's pretty obvious everyone's moving backwards by the way they turn their heads, blink etc even during just the expository scenes. I haven't seen anyone actually point this out but then again when anyone takes a drink of something the liquid goes down in normal fashion so unless there's some other visual trickery here.
the one thing I can say so far being one hour in that is working is that Nolan isn't wasting time sidelining to overexplaining small plot points that don't actually need the time spent on it.

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: Tenet (Christopher Nolan, 2020)

#206 Post by domino harvey » Mon Sep 07, 2020 2:16 am

Put your damn phone away, you're at the movies

black&huge
Joined: Tue Dec 26, 2017 5:35 am

Re: Tenet (Christopher Nolan, 2020)

#207 Post by black&huge » Mon Sep 07, 2020 2:27 am

domino harvey wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 2:16 am
Put your damn phone away, you're at the movies
oh uh... yeah. yep. Yes I am. 8-[

User avatar
therewillbeblus
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:40 pm

Re: Tenet (Christopher Nolan, 2020)

#208 Post by therewillbeblus » Mon Sep 07, 2020 2:28 am

If you're at the one-hour mark you're about to find that out for yourself, but the short answer is you are indeed wrong

black&huge
Joined: Tue Dec 26, 2017 5:35 am

Re: Tenet (Christopher Nolan, 2020)

#209 Post by black&huge » Mon Sep 07, 2020 3:03 am

well now I am just confused why did it look odd up until the obvious moments things got weird? basically I'm asking is there any in depth making of article yet about how they shot the film?

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: Tenet (Christopher Nolan, 2020)

#210 Post by domino harvey » Mon Sep 07, 2020 3:07 am

The usher will explain it to you when he escorts you out of the theatre for being on your phone

black&huge
Joined: Tue Dec 26, 2017 5:35 am

Re: Tenet (Christopher Nolan, 2020)

#211 Post by black&huge » Mon Sep 07, 2020 3:19 am

domino harvey wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 3:07 am
The usher will explain it to you when he escorts you out of the theatre for being on your phone
I'm literally the only one here. Which never happens. I could light up a cigarette if I wanted. But I wont. :wink:

black&huge
Joined: Tue Dec 26, 2017 5:35 am

Re: Tenet (Christopher Nolan, 2020)

#212 Post by black&huge » Mon Sep 07, 2020 5:03 am

SpoilerShow
Alright so while this wasn't great it wasn't bad and I feel it is worth watching however it only hammered in even more that with the pandemic and all no one should be going to the theater and there is NO movie worth risking your life to go and see. I could think ahead and hear someone make the argument that hollywood is trying to continue or has continued with productions in the midst of the pandemic and so if our favorite filmmakers and actors are risking their lives then we have no excuse to not support them. And as really weird as that sounds that could be the main argument at hand or already in progress. Easily to defeat that argument would be to say that nothing should be in or resuming production. I think the big conversation that should arise from Tenet is how far are we, the consumers willing to go to enjoy art rather than how far will artists go to let their art be seen.

And this is the thing about it. Whatever is going on in Nolan's misfiring brain he somehow still wins in the end if not financially then with the fact his film brought about a big conversation whether it ends in his favor or not. This is not how a film should be cemented in history and what separates this from many other examples of a film sparking national debate is that someone absolutely pushed for people to risk their lives to see something that is somewhere above mediocre. Still, if this was some great new film that just hit every stride it would make no goddamn difference. And let me just say how sickening it is that the press was trying to push this as "the movie that will bring the theater back".... theaters were only on lockdown for a matter of months barely even half a year. If this was a year or two from now where it may be a little safer to venture out to see a movie that would be appropriate but everything surrounding this movie's eventual release is absolutely sickening.

I go on about this because really as much as we all here love film is this really worth it? not this film specifically but anything, something you may have really wanted to watch, Is it actually worth it to be in an auditorium full of irresponsible people who will immediately take off their masks and may resort to other risky behaviors just for a film we could end up hating or not liking as much as we thought we would? what extent does the theatrical experience override your own life?

now about the film...

Nolan just isn't the kind of filmmaker he wants to be and he's had several films already to show us that. I think he's akin to Zack Snyder in a way. Both want to have some artistic flourish with their films but it only goes as far as the idea of it they absolutely do not understand how to meld a high concept with an interesting visual interpretation. What ends up happening is some basic hero story that incorporates militaristic aesthetic in the form of... actual militaristic forces aiding our hero in some way be it an actual military or specific gadgetry to move the plot. I will say Tenet is a lot more refined than Inception. I would consider it a streamlined Nolan big concept/tired execution film and that I am grateful for. Where this absolutely fails is the climax of the film which really is not exciting at all. Nothing felt really at odds and it seemed as if the movie was just waiting to wrap itself up. I will revisit this once it hits streaming but for now at least the only thing Nolan can be proud of is that the mess is not with the movie itself for once but the coverage around its release.

So... I STILL think most of the film was in reverse. People were moving weird throughout the entire film. This is what I am actually most confused about was I really the only one who noticed? the entire 8 minute prologue was all in reverse and it carried on well into the first hour before we actually got the obvious reversed footage.

Calvin
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 11:12 am

Re: Tenet (Christopher Nolan, 2020)

#213 Post by Calvin » Mon Sep 07, 2020 11:51 am

SpoilerShow
black&huge wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 5:03 am
I go on about this because really as much as we all here love film is this really worth it? not this film specifically but anything, something you may have really wanted to watch, Is it actually worth it to be in an auditorium full of irresponsible people who will immediately take off their masks and may resort to other risky behaviors just for a film we could end up hating or not liking as much as we thought we would? what extent does the theatrical experience override your own life?
There are a number of things to take into consideration here, but ultimately theatres should be enforcing COVID-secure policies or be forced to close. I'm a high risk individual but decided to go because I figured that attendance numbers would still be low at this point, and I was right. In addition, no one else was allowed to sit within three seats to either side of me and there was a one-way system in place. I'm no epidemiologist but it felt as safe to me as grocery shopping and certainly safer than a bar/restaurant. Ultimately, if the risk is too high - i.e. if there was an increase in cases at a local or national level - then they should be forced to close anyway under lockdown procedure.
So... I STILL think most of the film was in reverse. People were moving weird throughout the entire film. This is what I am actually most confused about was I really the only one who noticed? the entire 8 minute prologue was all in reverse and it carried on well into the first hour before we actually got the obvious reversed footage.
I certainly didn't notice any weird movements outside of the obvious on first viewing. I'm not going to rush back to see it again though.

User avatar
therewillbeblus
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:40 pm

Re: Tenet (Christopher Nolan, 2020)

#214 Post by therewillbeblus » Mon Sep 07, 2020 1:46 pm

I feel like that should be in a spoiler box but it’s blatantly untrue to the entire concept of the film’s structure, so it’s also not one in the slightest. That would undercut all of the science fiction and narrative functioning, and seems like a very difficult task for everyone to engage in for the purpose of.. undoing everything that makes sense in the movie?

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: Tenet (Christopher Nolan, 2020)

#215 Post by domino harvey » Mon Sep 07, 2020 2:16 pm

Mods here: Most of your fellow board members and moderators will not be able to see this for some time. Err on the side of spoiler tagging everything that could possibly be considered a spoiler for the time being. 2020 is bad enough, please do not ruin this for others just because you can’t follow basic posting protocols

black&huge
Joined: Tue Dec 26, 2017 5:35 am

Re: Tenet (Christopher Nolan, 2020)

#216 Post by black&huge » Mon Sep 07, 2020 2:37 pm

apologies I actually didn't think I was spoiling anything

User avatar
TheKieslowskiHaze
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2020 10:37 am

Re: Tenet (Christopher Nolan, 2020)

#217 Post by TheKieslowskiHaze » Thu Sep 10, 2020 4:20 pm

I am waiting to see this at home. Any word on what the aspect ratio will be for this when it hits streaming? I assume the blu-ray will do the classic Nolan mixed ratio thing (which I like). I am wondering if digital copies will do the same.

For some movies (Tron Legacy), the blu-ray alternates aspect ratios while the digital copy does not.

EDIT: Just remembered I have The Dark Knight Rises on vudu. I checked and, unlike the blu, it does not change aspect ratios. Same with the movie on Prime Video. If the same goes for Tenet, I'd spring for the blu rather than rent it (even though I hear mixed things).

User avatar
Brian C
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 11:58 am
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: Tenet (Christopher Nolan, 2020)

#218 Post by Brian C » Sun Sep 13, 2020 12:08 am

I don't see Washington's character as a James Bond type at all - he's more of a Michael Mann protagonist, stoic and adaptive and a strong emphasis on a personal code of ethics that both dictates that he follow through with his task and allows him to deviate from it according to his conscience.

In fact, this movie reminded me quite a bit of Mann's Blackhat, crossed with Nolan's own Inception. It shares with the Mann an inelegance in screenplay construction, and more than any Nolan film it's a string of setpieces, with the only real purpose of one being to propel the film toward the next. It has a tiring making-it-up-as-we-go-along quality to it, and I found it extremely difficult to follow and make sense of. Someone earlier in the thread mentioned a lack of "connective tissue", and that's a good way to put it - there are a couple of expository scenes early on, but for the most part, this is all pretty baffling to me and I can't really say how much of anything fits together. I haven't felt this way about Nolan's previous movies (other than some elements of The Dark Knight), and frankly I wish it was a lot more expository.

I'm just not sure that the screenplay was really thought out all that well. Unusually for Nolan, the plot mechanics themselves don't have much to do with the thematic concerns, which seem overall to be pretty foggily conceived. I can agree with TWBB's contention that Nolan's films have a lot of emotional depth, but I'm not feeling it with this one.

User avatar
therewillbeblus
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:40 pm

Re: Tenet (Christopher Nolan, 2020)

#219 Post by therewillbeblus » Sun Sep 13, 2020 12:16 am

Yeah, this might be his least emotionally-intelligent film and so riding on just the intellectual and action mechanics doesn't work as cohesively as the others. I see Washington as an anti-Bond, full of compassion for a single life where emotion trumps macro rationale, but he does possess a stoicism and I like the Mann middle ground you're laying forth.

Nasir007
Joined: Sat May 25, 2019 11:58 am

Re: Tenet (Christopher Nolan, 2020)

#220 Post by Nasir007 » Fri Sep 18, 2020 6:38 pm

I just wanted to say I had dropped into this thread earlier and read something that black&huge posted that was definitely a spoiler a that's not cool. I did not venture to open this thread again until I had seen it. I now have seen it, but a for a film that has spent 100s of millions of dollars to hide its spoilers, it isn't cool to put them out so nakedly.

---

I will write about this movie again, but I will offer some initial thoughts.

How complicated the movie is grotesquely exaggerated. The story itself is your very basic ordinary spy movie story - a very very typical bond story. The plot is a bit more involved and here I will make a difference between story and plot. Story is what happens. Plot is how the writer chooses to show us the story. Even so, it can be followed in a single sitting with a moderate amount of attention. Just as it was with Inception, this isn't nearly as complicated as people think it is or make it out to be.

That said, Nolan does not help matters by presenting his plot in the way he does. I would say that is due to his inelgance as a writer. I write screenplays as a creative exercise so I can appreciate things he does well but also notice things where he stumbles. One of them certainly is emphasis. If let's say there's 2 or 3 things you need to tell the audience to follow your story, you need to make sure those things get across. Nolan does it in such a offhand way, that most of the audience overlooks it. Cultists would say audience should pay attention the entire movie but that is not the point, Nolan himself as a storyteller wants his audience to follow his story right? Otherwise what is the point. The point of a surprise is to hide a twist, not hid your story. You want the audience to follow the story - you only want to hide the twist. Nolan for some reason seems to want to hide the story too.

So all of the information that you need is indeed provided or can be deduced but it is done in a bone headed way. What this actually does is it lessens the drama of his films and makes them less compelling. And that is a very bad story-telling move. He obscures the stakes of his own story and that is so unhelpful to himself.

When I am writing, my chief goal is engage the audience, for them to get swept up in the story, to understand the stakes and make them care - the very essence of how to 'grip' the audience. Nolan purposefully obscures details to throw of his audience with the result that maybe some people think the movie is too clever and others don't give a flying fuck. It seems a lot of people fell into the latter camp with this one.

I am not admirer of Nolan but I do think this is an interesting movie. I will admit the concept at the heart of the movie is actually rather simple - and most importantly - not new! You have all seen exactly what this movie is doing in several movies. This movie is doing it in a bit of a different way, but it is still doing that exact same thing. The movie tries to complicate its own concept but I should again state, the movie's core concept can be explained in a very simply way, and once you grasp that nothing will confuse you.

--

This is a cold lifeless movie absolutely and entirely reliant on plot. So if the plot does not grip you or you cannot follow the plot, you will be bored and unimpressed by this movie. This is again a huge miss from Nolan. You have to give the audience multiple things - so if one fails, that audience still has interest in the movie. Case in point - Inherent Vice. Most people cannot follow the plot. And for that movie I actually think you cannot follow the plot in a single movie. And the result - who care? It is still a masterwork. It has characters you care about and interactions and scenes that are memorable etc. etc. With Nolan, you are out of luck. I was initially very bored by this movie. Then I had some mild interest in its ordinary hacky Bond plot but then that subsided too. I became interested again when the movie revealed its main concept at about the midway mark. There isn't much humor to speak of. Limited wit. Action scenes are okay because of the movie's gimmick.

--

Nolan's absolutely horrible obsession with cross cutting needs to end. The man seems incapable of a climax (or entire movie) that is not cross cut. It exposes him for the one trick pony that he is. Inception climax? Cross cut. TDKR. Interstellar. Ditto. Dunkirk - the entire movie. This film - you bet your house. I just think he is fundamentally incapable of generating suspense in a sequence but itself and has to rely on cross cutting to gin up OMG DRAMA.

--

That said, the actual climax of this movie is absolutely utterly awful and a complete failure. I also felt is was completely unnecessary. Like they could have done without it - I fail to see even the point of why it had to be done that way. The goal of the climax is presented so vaguely, it is so badly setup that you have this incoherent mayhem wondering what the point of it all is. Seriously it is indefensible I feel.

--

I will still end by saying that the movie is interesting and can be seen once. It uses an age old concept, but shows it in a manner that hasn't been seen before. Mind you - it does not do that to the best of its ability but it is interesting nonetheless.

Overall this is a greatest hits Nolan movie - not stretching or flexing himself in anyway, just doing the same old stuff that he is comfortable with. If he really wants to be known as a director of imagination, he really needs to show us something new. Dunno how many more of these kinds of movies we can handle.

User avatar
captveg
Joined: Wed Sep 02, 2009 7:28 pm

Re: Tenet (Christopher Nolan, 2020)

#221 Post by captveg » Sun Sep 20, 2020 2:11 am

Clever ideas and nifty visuals can't overcome an overwrought setup that is compounded by a sound mix that leaves even an apt viewer straining to catch the exposition. I enjoyed the conceit in isolated moments and beats, while the whole left me missing a leaner film experience. Hitchcock eventually boiled down his suspense film MacGuffins to things as vague as "government secrets" while allowing the characters to shine through. Nolan seems to have gone in the complete opposite direction.

Nasir007
Joined: Sat May 25, 2019 11:58 am

Re: Tenet (Christopher Nolan, 2020)

#222 Post by Nasir007 » Wed Sep 23, 2020 8:51 pm

I will now offer some thoughts on the actual content of the film. If it seems I have dinged this movie, I will offer some praise too.

To start of, I'd say this, people might not realize this, but this movie is rather elegantly constructed. It has a simplicity which is rather appealing. Though you wouldn't know it because of Nolan's befuddling style.
SpoilerShow
This film is constructed around 5 incidents. Due to the film's palindromic structure, these 5 incidents happen in the reverse order after the midpoint, but they are the same 5 incidents.

1a. Blast in Siberia (mentioned but not shown)
1b. Debicki's encounter with Branagh on yatch (shown in flashbacks)
1c. Opening heist to steal McGuffin
2. Airport sequnce
3. Car chase/road heist of the same McGuffin
--------------------------------------------------------------------
3. Car chase/road heist of the same McGuffin (seen backwards - no change)
2. Airport sequnce (seen backwards - no change)
1c. Opening heist to steal McGuffin (not mentioned but you can presume it is happening at the same time.)
1b. Debiciki's encounter with Branagh on yatch (new version - Climax)
1a. Blast in Siberia (Climax)

1a, 1b, 1c are essentially simultaneous events. Everything between these scenes is setup or exposition.
Now look at that, that is a rather elegant construction isn't it? Then why does this movie confuse people so much. More on that latter.
SpoilerShow
Now on to the time inversion concept of the movie. That is all big ole BS. What this movie is - is basically a time travel movie. The time inversion mentioned, is a side effect of the time travel.

So how does the time travel work? Through turnstile. The concept is this - to go back in time, you need a turnstile twice. So let's say you live from Monday through Sunday. On Sunday, if you want to travel back in time to Tuesday - how'd you do it? You'd go into a turnstile on Sunday and that 'inverts' you. Basically you start travelling backwards in time. So you live through Sunday, Saturday, Friday... etc. And then arrive at Tuesday. Then you would enter a turnstile again, and this time it will point you the right way, so you will arrive at the same Tuesday again, moving forwards, once again. So that's the time travel. It is similar in principle to Primer in that - time travel takes time. Basically in Primer, to go back 6 hours, you need to spend 6 hours in a box. In Tenet, to go back 6 hours, you need to travel 6 hours backwards in time and then start going forward again.

This time travel is different from say Harry Potter 3. Where you turn the time turner, and are instantly transported 3 hours earlier. No. In tenet, it takes time.

So all this inversion stuff confuses people, when this can be explained much more simply.

And finally - what time travel movie is it most similar to. Harry Potter 3 surprisingly. The treatment is exactly the same. Here's how -
Basically, the past has already happened in Azakaban. Meaning, when Harry is dying, a mysterious person saves him. Harry goes back in time to see who the mysterious person is. Turns out it is him! So he was there the first time around too! Meaning even in his first go around, there was a time travelling version existing simultaneously. Meaning he was always meant to time travel.

So in Harry Potter 3 - in the climax - you see a sequence of incidents. And then when your heroes time travel, you see all the incidents again in the same order but from a different perspective and with new information. And there are surreal moments of the regular version and time travelling version interacting. And also subtle changes to result in a more positive outcome for the heroes.

Same is true with Tenet. You see or follow these 5 incidents. And then you follow them again, in the reverse order when the time travel is happening. #3 and #2 you experience the second time when the protagonists are inverted. For #1b and #1c, the protagonists turn forwards again so you experience them essentially normally (though the climax does have both good guys and bad guys travelling backwards in time). Both #1b and #1c also change somethings to bring about a happier outcome for the protagonists.
So there you have it - this is actually an elegantly constructed and rather simple movie. There isn't much more to it than what I wrote above.
No grand mystery. No character development at all (the movie is all plot). If this is such a simple story - why did it take 2.5 hrs and so thoroughly confuse people?

If a person has a great story, and manages to tell it in a way that loses people, the flaw isn't in the story, but in the telling. And herein lies Nolan's fatal shortcoming.

Such a simple accessible story. It could have been rendered in 2 hours. It could have been fun. It could have been easily understandable (and honestly it still is). But you can't deny the sheer bungling it would take to so thoroughly confuse people with such a simple flimsy bare-bones story that people feel they don't follow at all.

I think Nolan has taken to heart that his movies are cerebral puzzles etc. He had a simple crowd-pleasing blockbuster here. He just needlessly convoluted it.

But anyways, I think the film has some merit and some cleverness. But in the end, you have to weigh it against the several missteps it takes to confuse so many viewers.

User avatar
therewillbeblus
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:40 pm

Re: Tenet (Christopher Nolan, 2020)

#223 Post by therewillbeblus » Wed Sep 23, 2020 10:09 pm

What if the point wasn’t to purely tell a story (or confuse its audience- wait what?) but to emotionally resonate the concept that
SpoilerShow
unconditional, uncompromising empathy is the key to saving humanity
I think this is lacking the emotional punch of Nolan’s best work, but it’s so clearly driven by emotion embedded in a set of cerebral ideas that I don’t know how even someone so logic-dominant can miss it. But there you go declaring the movie is nothing more than a singular concept.
Nasir007 wrote:
Wed Sep 23, 2020 8:51 pm
It could have been easily understandable (and honestly it still is).
Do you know what’s not understandable? Completely contradictory positions in the same sentence. Or the irony that someone as logically-minded as you surely knows this, and cannot even put a piece of punctuation between paradoxical statements to make an effort to hide them.

John Shade
Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2017 3:04 pm

Re: Tenet (Christopher Nolan, 2020)

#224 Post by John Shade » Tue Sep 29, 2020 9:00 am

I really loved this--the spectacle of it, the almost silliness of such a complex plot, and basically all of the performances (including Branagh...I think I'm the only one!). There's an element here that borders on parody--the way Nolan suffuses his style through a blend of some of the cliches from spy and time-travel movies. I slightly wonder if the soundmix was created in such a way to deliberately obscure the plot. Any time there was a classic Nolan over-exposition moment, there were either jokey remarks from characters or just very loud background music/noise. For those of you who are waiting this out, I think a first viewing with subtitles on blu ray won't be a bad way to watch this (though this just begs for a big screen...). My advice to those very wary of going to a theater: call some of your local theaters and find out the least crowded times; get there shortly before it starts and just distance yourself from the (likely) few others attending.

Like other Nolan movies, I'm sure this will reward repeat viewings. My immediate reaction after seeing it was that I wanted to see it again. In a later post I'd like to explain why I think this wasn't "cold" or "emotionless". I'll save this for after a second viewing and when I can easily use the spoiler tag...

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: Tenet (Christopher Nolan, 2020)

#225 Post by domino harvey » Mon Oct 05, 2020 11:39 pm

Coming to Blu-Ray December 15th, for those who’d rather not potentially die to see this

Post Reply