Tenet

Tenet ★★★★½

This is a godsend for those of us that love confusing films - both the aesthetic experience of them and their puzzle nature. Even the character development seems to be happening in reverse or out of time. The idea of narrative/drama as what a character knows, what the other knows and what the other knows the character knows is suspended and thrown into disarray. ‘Knowledge is divided, ignorance is our ammunition’. The characters themselves seem split - we’re seeing fragmented versions of them that get ‘fleshed’ out in retrospect. A lot of this may have to do with what feels like a three hour film cut down to 150 mins by Nolan trimming down each shot, such that a piece of information doesn’t have time to settle in the audience or character before we’re on to the next piece of information. The sense of forward narrative movement or development is missing and yet it’s still somehow there (inverted?). The result is in some ways one of the most abstract action films I’ve seen. Character motivations feel akin to that of an art film. Their reactions no longer reactions. This could be the closest to Last Year At Marienbad Nolan’s gotten.

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