josiah’s review published on Letterboxd:
had to see it again to solidify my thoughts on it. this time i understood the constantly changing tangle of plot intricacies more, but i still struggle a bit with mapping out their provoking movements. i understand what's happening a lot more, not why. i still think it's really cool how there's almost zero pathos to the movie—the characters, 90% of the time, are moving with a consistent precision that exists outside of emotional impulse, like inanimate chess pieces slowly & deliberately moved across a chess board by nolan. not sure how he got away with making a movie where the most emotionally driven character by far is the villain tbh. but even the antagonist is fairly one-dimensional all in all, so that leaves the pathos to exist in one thing and one thing only—the spectacle. the true driving force of tenet is the audience itself's fascination with objects + movements flowing through time—even if you don't like the characters or can't understand their motives, the way the logistics of the story constantly swirles them around, chews & spits them out, flips them upside down, & sends them on their way backwards is endlessly captivating and bewildering. basically a chopped, screwed and inverted james bond movie of unrelenting & clinical momentum through a sprawling world of temporal relevance.