Tenet Movie Review – Engrossing, Engaging And Yet Unsatisfying


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From the maker of classic films like Memento, The Prestige, Batman series, Inception, Interstellar and Dunkirk, Christopher Nolan’s latest James Bond meets the time-bending action thriller is the first Hollywood release ever since the lockdown prevented us from entering the theaters. Tenet has opened across India today. Will it be as enigmatic as Nolan’s previous work ?

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Tenet tells the story of CIA agent (John David Washington) who gets exposed in a rescue operation at the opera house in Kyiv. He is quickly sent on a mission to prevent the World War III from occurring after passing some test (which is not explicitly explained). During the mission, he finds out process of inversion where a person or object can have its entropy reversed. As he investigates, he travels across the globe to meet people – Neil (Robert Pattinson) who supports him and Priya (Dimple Kapadia) who is arm dealer and gives him a clue about Andrei Sator (Kenneth Branagh). He also meets Crosby (Michael Caine) who tells him about the abandoned city which is the crux of all the events.

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While half of the world had already seen the Christopher Nolan’s mega event film, India will witness the much awaited action flick today in theaters. The reason I mentioned “much-awaited” since Nolan has set a huge fan base in India as his films have done very well. As a fan of his films, Tenet has some marvelous action scenes – the combat scene at the gallery and we get to witness the backward movement again after sometime, the car-chase on the highway is excellent as we witness one of the toppled car come back to its original form adequately supported by Hoyte van Hoytema’s cinematography which captures each and every frame beautifully and Ludwig Goransson’s background score, which gives a feeling as if there was some issue with the audio background score but later settles for good (you will definitely miss Hans Zimmer though).

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Though the editing is sharp, the film’s length definitely could have been cut with few unwanted scenes. Writing by Nolan is clever as he always uses the world of physics, mythology, flip between past, present and this time future events together. However, there is something missing as Tenet ends its high-dose climax sequence and the movie closes with a twist. I also felt the emotional touch was not there like Nolan present us in Inception (mind-blowing background score and plane scene) and Interstellar (when father finally meets his old daughter).

Coming to the performances, John David Washington was passable as his expressions were same through out the film. Robert Pattinson did a fine job and was a delight to watch. I loved Dimple Kapadia as she confidently performed in probably her first international project. Kenneth Branagh as villain and Elizabeth Debicki, playing his wife, were good.

Overall, Tenet is a solid attempt by the master Christopher Nolan. It definitely loses the bus but the concept, action scenes and thrilling fight sequences makes it up for a nice watch. Good 3.5/5


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Ketan Gupta

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