Tenet: The Interception Between Interstellar and Inception

Time takes on a very different meaning in Christopher Nolan’s Tenet. Unrelated: it’s been nearly six months since we updated this blog.

I went to see Tenet yesterday, in an actual cinema. It’s been months since I’ve been to see a movie and I was so ready. I would have gone to see Tenet anyway but it’s the only show in town right now.

I expected that going to the cinema would be a new experience, in the time of Covid-19, but there weren’t that many changes. I almost always book online, anyway, and I’ve always preferred to be socially distant in a movie theatre. I’ve gotten used to wearing a mask in public spaces. I miss the Pick n Mix, though.

I suspect I would have enjoyed virtually any movie but I genuinely enjoyed Tenet. It is a worthy successor to Nolan classics, like Inception and Interstellar, and requires about the same amount of suspension of belief. This is a spy movie, with lots of global travel (remember that?) and a little bit of time travel. It’s not as silly as Inception, or as dense as Interstellar. The acting is superb, with John David Washington playing the protagonist to excellent and intense effect. Robert Pattinson plays Neil, the heir apparent to Tom Hardy’s Eames in Inception, a charming Englishman, who knows a great deal more than he lets on. Elizabeth Debicki does well with the material she’s given, and Dimple Kapadia is positively regal as Priya. Naturally, it would not be a Christopher Nolan movie without Michael Caine, and he delivers his small role with appropriate aplomb, and I had not realised that Kenneth Branagh played a significant role as Andrei Slator, and it is honestly fun to watch him as a deeply sinister and manipulative antagonist.

I think that this movie suffers a little from being over-earnest but Robert Pattinson does wonders to lighten the mood, playing his most likeable character since Cedric Diggory. Overall, the movie takes some digesting and I think will stand up to repeated viewing, if only to watch out for the clues that were there all along.

Worth seeing in the big screen? If it’s safe to do so, absolutely. Especially because they absolutely blew up a real Boeing 747 (just in case you worried about this film lacking authenticity).

Honestly, it’s good to be back.

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