claira curtis’s review published on Letterboxd:
Currently: pretending Neil and the Protagonist were actually in love the whole time.
By the time I got to sit down to finally see Tenet today, I had gone from it being one of my most anticipated of the year to being one I was eager to never hear mentioned again thanks to all the discourse it garnered. I wouldn’t say I went into Tenet with a negative outlook, but I did go into Tenet a bit on the wary side.
In the end, I felt a great big ball of eh over Nolan’s latest. It was never boring, quite the contrary, and I was pleased to realize that 2.5 hour runtime moved along fairly quickly for me. But I never, not once felt emotionally invested in a single character or the mission at large.
I feel as though so much exposition was dialogue reliant that there isn’t much room at all to really dig into the characters enough to care about them. I do think that in a way this was by design. The goal is greater than the characters themselves so why care about them? And that’s where my personal preferences really influence my overall feeling of Tenet. A lack of emotional depth is a pretty strong deterrent for me to truly love a watch.
I will say that I didn’t find the sound design as horrific as so many others seemed to have, but I do think that’s in part because I had subtitles on a first watch. I think that the scale of the movie is its greatest strength. The action sequences were choreographed wonderfully and played out really well. And at the end of the day, watching huge fight scenes and car chases and explosions play out in reverse just looks really fucking cool.
Overall, I’m sorta just in the middle with Tenet. An interesting place to land on arguably the most “controversial” movie to come out of 2020 but hey! I’ll take it over hating it any day!