To say Cristopher Nolan has a thing for time travel and science fiction, is probably the biggest understatement that could possibly be made. I am a big fan of his sci-fi creations and his Batman movies too, that’s probably when I paid real attention to his work. His study in time travel goes back to his very memorable movie Memento back in 2000, and I thought it had culminated with Interstellar in 2014, but it appears that Christopher Nolan hasn’t got it totally out of his system. The release of TENET in cinemas this year, is a real test for the movie and theatres in this COVID-19 world.
I did brave the new world order by purchasing a ticket and sitting myself down in a cinema. I must admit, it seemed like a guilty pleasure as I sat in a huge extreme screen theatre and practically had it all to myself. If you can muster enough courage to get out there in public, I totally recommend the experience.
TENET’s concept without giving away spoilers is that, the world is facing a new threat, a temporal threat. Someone has figured out a way to manipulate the laws of physics and effect time. Our protagonist, the man that goes the whole movie without a name (and is billed as “the protagonist”) played by the coolest cat ever, John David Washington. Washington’s character is an undercover agent on the case of terrorists trying to get their hands on former Soviet Union plutonium. It’s here where the protagonist enters the rabbit hole and gets mixed up in a new world of intrigue.
As I strapped in for the ride, I was pleasantly surprised that the first stanza of the movie set us up very succinctly into this world of espionage and intrigue. We continued down the rabbit hole and learnt very quickly about the larger threat and who the main players were, now, this is where things take a big big turn for the audience.
In your typical time travel movie, the characters travel to the past and changes things back then which in turn have ripple effects in the future. Wether you change the time line you are currently on, or create a new time line in a multiverse are the usual course of events. TENET brings a new concept in time travel and if you are not paying attention or concentrate too eagerly on the special effects you may loose the flow of the multiple time threads TENET is trying to weave. The other thing that threw me off the scent a little was that the music seemed to drown out speech in some scenes, and at times I was metaphorically reaching for the remote to turn on the sub tittles.
The movie was stylish, clever, special effects and sound effects were awesome (as to be expected in Nolan movies), and the performances from Washington, Kenneth Branagh, Robert Pattinson, and Elizabeth Debicki were extremely convincing. I did suffer from the loud soundtrack at times, but the new time travel concept was engrossing and made for a great conversation starter.
I’m really happy I saw TENET on the big screen, and I will definitely be looking forward to see it in the comfort of my own lounge room…. with sub tittles on.