This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Jack’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
This flowchart should help with all of the crazy timelines. But, I'm going to go deep into structure of the film and how I think its one of Nolan's most ambitious film to date.
Pros: Neil and Kat being the emotional core of the film actually helped with the NPC nature of The Protagonist. The Protagonist himself is just a video game character up until the RED BLUE room sequence.
The cinematography can be spotty sometimes especially the dinner scene. There is a lot of cuts. I think adding Jennifer Lame to the project did not work in my opinion. Because, a lot of scenes went way too fast for my eyes. But, I was able to take a breath after the dinner sequence.
Especially since if you've seen it twice, you realize that Neil saved The Protagonist in the opera house. Neil's entire journey is to help The Protagonist through TENET. The TENET program itself is intense and cause disillusions. So when you see The Protagonist crying at the end, you see through his eyes how the world has changed around him. Neil will always have his back.
Sato is by far the best villain of the year. He's demeanor is very cold but when you see his future self, you understand why he's in amounts of stress. It was nice to see a villain who has flaws and doubts about what he was doing. His self-realization of falling back from his plans because, he has cancer was sort of touching. I'm glad he died though. The past Sato was a piece of shit.
Cons: I think the major con is how early they revealed the multiple timelines/inversion scene through the RED/BLUE room. That specific science should've been explained in the scientist's room.
Another con is the over exposition. Nolan loves his dialogue with over explaining shit. Honestly, I rather just unravel it through my eyes instead of explaining it.
The final act was too much for my compensation when I first saw it but, it was better the second time around. I don't understand why people are complaining about who's shooting who. It was supposed to fail from the beginning.
I know a lot of people will hate the idea of reading flowcharts and theories about the film. But, that's what I love about cinema. Cinema that makes you think. By far one of the best blockbusters in the last decade. Low key, it's a cultural reset.