TheCloser79’s review published on Letterboxd:
A (as objective as possible) evaluation of "Tenet" proves to be extremely difficult. I try to explain the reasons for this without spoilers! in this review.
There is probably more pressure on "Tenet" than on any other film in ages. As if the huge budget, the given freedoms, the prestigious participants, the name and the Nolan brand, the extremely high expectations and the complicated concept that went with it didn't pack enough weight into the backpack - now this abstract agent story should almost single-handedly save the cinema.
I doubt it, however, because "Tenet" is, in my opinion, the most complicated, most confusing, hardest to grasp and (especially at first glance) undercoolest Nolan so far - which will anger a lot of viewers. Rough act: An agent is recruited by a secret organization and hired to thwart something worse than World War III. And objects play a major role in this, which seem to be able to move backwards in time, contrary to our usual direction ...
Nolan seldom compromises, he thinks big, still makes unconditional films for the cinema, always brings crazy concepts and also has his own style. And a sheer obsession with time. And in all of these relationships, “Tenet” is probably its crowning glory. The cast is large, the concept is even bigger, the pictures are often breathtaking enough, something you've just never seen before. Not even remotely. That takes your breath away on a technical level alone. And that's exactly what you want to experience. You must watch this film more than one or two times and at the latest when you finally see the concept unfold and begin to understand it, you know that this is that very certain Nolan touch and something very special. In all of these components, “Tenet” does what one hopes for. Exceeds and even falls short of expectations spectacularly. In many corners, on several levels, it has what it takes to become a direct (polarizing!) Classic, for doctoral theses, for long conversations among film fans and friends. And that alone, after a time of hardship and postponements, is worth every honor, every hype, a lot of praise.
Where “Tenet” stumbles a little bit, at least now after my first round, is in the B grade and in the emotional area. Not only can the highly complex thriller overwhelm and even annoy many people, it sometimes feels like tripping over its own feet, explanations, rules of the game and abbreviations. And that ranges from a sometimes very erratic cut to too little air to breathe and for explanations. In addition, there is massive hypothermia, which can be intensified by a lack of overview and faltering understanding in almost every viewer. But that has also been accused of some works by Tarkovsky and Kubrick - and what became of them should be known to everyone ... All in all, "Tenet" is a somewhat erratic mindfuck that left a deep impression on me and that will be talked about for years to come. Even if he doesn't single-handedly save an entire, hundred-year-old industry ... Or maybe yes. Timeless? Stretchy? Flexible? Predetermined? In any case, unique and incomparable!
Not perfect, but still worth discussing and worth every multiple viewing! Christopher Nolan did it again ... and maybe more violent and demanding than ever. “Tenet” is great cinema - and this phrase has never been more unconditional than here.