Tenet

Tenet ★★½

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

Now that's what I call lazy screenplay writing. I'm also an engineer and hearing things like 'reverse heat flow' or the fact that Kat was inverted when she was on Andre's yacht without her oxygen... Aren't the membranes in her lungs reversed too...? Didn't anyone try to point it out?

The 'thread of fate' theme or concept was, in my view, not explored enough. Or rather was lost in all the reverse action shots and fight sequences. This makes the film feel rather gimmicky.

Typically, Nolan doesn't allow for a complicated plot to sacrifice for intricately fleshed out characters. In this film they were lost without us getting to know any of characters personally or what their true motivations were. Apart from protecting a beautiful woman or to protecting one's children, I didn't really understand why they acted the way they did.

None of the characters disappointed me as much as Andre, our antagonist, did. Chalking up our antagonist's motivation for the doom of mankind to his East European stereotype of the jealous and angry man was insulting to the complex villains Nolan has created before.

Also the ideas of fate and chance could have been explored in a much less obvious fashion. Nolan tells us in the first half of the film that we can only shape our future with intent. Then in the final scenes we see Niels walking towards his end... What is Nolan trying to tell us? I am not sure here. Am I stupid or was there something defnitive to be said? Also if Niels was reversed this whole time, how could he breathe?

I don't want to think on this film anymore... So I will end it with a quote from Harry Mulisch's The Assault, that tackles with the flow of time and ideas of fate in a thought provoking manner, without the loud bombs or Travis Scott outro to distract us from inherent laziness...

“The motorboats were different. Pitching, their prows would tear the water into a V shape that spread until it reached both sides of the canal. There the water would suddenly begin to lap up and down, even though the boat was already far away. Then the waves bounced back and formed an inverted V, which interfered with the original V, reached the opposite shore transformed, and bounced back again—until all across the water a complicated braiding of ripples developed which went on changing for several minutes, then finally smoothed out. Each time, Anton tried to figure out exactly how this happened, but each time the pattern became so complex that he could no longer follow it.”