This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Ashwani Kumar Tiwari’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
After thinking about Tenet for 1 month and 2 days and realising that not once I could push myself into attempting a re-watch just so that I can understand the film better than I do currently, I would infer that Tenet refused to grow in me and put a weight on my memory. And it's mostly because I care only so much about what happened in that duration of 2.5 hours. Christopher Nolan claims a substantial share of my admiration to Tenet as a whole, and then comes its ambitious audacity. Tenet dares.
Now if I choose to ignore how all threads are knitted into the fabric, the know-hows of it and everything that exists between the terminals, I see Tenet as a film in which a protagonist appoints himself to save the world from an apocalyptic event that threatens the survival of, at least, the entire civilization. And definitely he succeeds. So if you sit beside the protagonist and look at Mary and Max in the normal world through the windshield, you see the world is moving at its pace in innocence. A threat lurked. It was eliminated. Only one person knows and nobody else for they are still alive in their routine. There is a possibility that a Tenet is our reality but we won't know until we lose the capacity to know at all, i.e. death to the collective. This might sound more like a pointless jargon and probably too long to put forward an argument but...
A threat this large never really makes me feel vulnerable. If everyone has to die, I wouldn't care if the hero will save the day or not. But if a certain 2% will depart or if 50% will decimate, that will be really horrifying to me for an apocalyptic threat. So I failed to care about the motive. What was left in the film for me was the proceedings, the style of it.
Tenet has a beautiful couple in Washington and Pattison and it is not because former is Tango to the latter's Charlie or because they're complements, appearing like a thematic binary. It's mostly because there is a lack of strict conflict between the two and an overwhelming cooperation for each other's pursuits. Now that's new because they haven't been friends either. Credibility of information is probably the only thing to worry about. But you, as an audience, have to worry about predictability. Now, dear reader, tell me why did JDW in Pincer movement chose to go into fight with his linear self in past than trying to escape the confrontation altogether?
Questions aside, that action set piece is one of the most interesting things that I've seen in action cinema. It challenges me to look for discontinuity and at the same time, suppress my lust for logic and enjoy. I did the latter, thankfully.
Tenet is not susceptible to the good or bad metric. It has received response in a wide range. I'm pleased by Nolan's ability to imagine, and then create the imagination with precision. Only he knows how successful he has been in terms of transforming his ideas into cinema but if this is his cinema, I can only marvel at the magnificence of his ideas. Tenet brings something unique as a concept, and might make it a trope too if time inversion becomes as sensuous an idea as time travel has been. Tenet can be a new beginning but only if people take it seriously.
And yes, Neil's Max as long as Nolan comes out himself and tells you otherwise. And Batman didn't die. And the Totem stumbles in Inception, Cobb wasn't dreaming. And also, the hyperdimensional beings in Interstellar were humans and no, it's not love. Let's not complicate Tenet more than it already is.