At this point, it is safe to say that Christopher Nolan is a cinematic genius. As the man behind masterpieces like the “Dark Knight Trilogy” and “Inception”, Nolan’s feature films have often been well received at the box office and by critics alike. This can be attributed to his cerebral and often nonlinear style of storytelling that sets him apart from other filmmakers. And his latest action flick, “Tenet” proves us right.
Set in the present time, “Tenet” follows the Protagonist played by John David Washington who is on a mission to stop World War III. To save humanity, the secret agent utilises a variety of futuristic tools that enables him the use of time inversion. Through this skill, he is able to manipulate past events to his advantage.
Like his previous works, Nolan does an excellent job of keeping his audiences on their feet with his signature plot twists. In fact, throughout the film, we see the story unfold in many surprising turns. Just when we thought we had certain characters figured out, Nolan shocks us with clever revelations – whether it be the surprise identities or the intelligent moves.
Aside from that, it is interesting to see Nolan stray from the typical formula in action movies. Often in the action genre, there are many times a common thread of one-dimensional characters. Take, for instance, the villains who are often portrayed with an unexplainable obsession for ruling or destroying the world. Whereas, the heroes are selfless martyrs who are willing to sacrifice themselves for humanity.
In “Tenet”, however, Nolan breathes life into his characters by showing us various sides to them. In point of fact, he takes us on an empathic journey to understanding the perspectives and actions of both the heroes and the villains. Of course, this would not have been possible without a good ensemble.
As a fresh face to Nolan’s pictures, John Washington provides a good introduction for himself to those who are not familiar with his previous works. Throughout the film, we see his remarkable talent as an actor. From the high points to the raw emotional scenes, John does a good job of delivering the necessary emotion required for every scene.
Notable evidence of this would be the compelling depiction of his character’s friendship with both Robert Pattinson and Elizabeth Debicki’s characters. Right through the film, we see the figures exchange intense emotions – from tenderness to acute frustrations. It is during these moments that the human element is exemplified. The movie is emotionally the strongest when the nature of their relationships is explored.
In regards to its shortcomings, there were moments in the film that felt a bit too rushed. Although it’s an action film, we felt that there could have been slower moments as it was difficult to keep up in certain scenes. For instance, the movie’s international back and forth trips – India to Estonia, Norway to London confuses the storylines.
This, therefore, abandons potential areas that could bring more life to the story. An example of this would be Kat Sator’s (played by Elizabeth Debicki) relationship with her son. Throughout the film, we only see the son who plays an integral role in the story twice (at most). The story would have been more complete if there was a bigger investment in Kat’s relationship with her son.
All in all, “Tenet” is a movie worth watching. Though it may be uncomfortable to watch due to our face masks, the movie’s thrilling fight scenes and clever storyline makes up for it!
Catch the exhilarating trailer here:
“Tenet” is currently screening in cinemas.