Tenet ★★★★★

I staggered out of the cinema, not only unsure of what my score would be but frankly not knowing if my critical faculties were still intact. Really took me a few hours to work out my thoughts as my head was pounding - Nolan hasn't tried to lower his sound mixes for us poor post-lockdown, un-cinematically practiced audiences. Anyway after sitting on it, I think it could well be among Nolan's best, and I have allowed it the benefit of the doubt just for the vertiginous pleasure that I had in each moment of the film. I don't have to try and avoid spoilers when I review this as I cannot express the plot in words. However, I can say that, as utterly baffling as it is, it will reward you by just giving in and enjoying the ride (and the suits). It sets up a ridiculous technological premise but gives you no time to think about it before an imminent nuclear threat sails into view and the film is thrown into momentum. I don't know whether the momentum is forward, backwards or both, but it rollicks forward and manages to construct scenes around structures that are unlike most things I have seen attempted in cinema before. It is by far Nolan's most structurally complex film (take that, Inception) but still doesn't scrimp on incredible visual literacy and even emotion. There is nothing with quite the gut punch of the end of Dunkirk, but the way that the final climactic action scene is tethered to small-scale personal relationships is awe-inspiring. Full thoughts coming after a second watch - which could be tomorrow, or might just have already happened. Tenet has really got under my skin.
Next day after seeing it: full review on my blog. Maybe I'll update it after seeing the film a second time - or then again, maybe I already have...

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