I sat in the cinema, was highly motivated to understand the film and it worked out quite well. Then came the first small block about inversion. I was still on the ball. It was strange and you weren’t allowed to think about it too much, but it was possible to stick with it. Thereupon a monologue by Sir Michael Caine. At this point I was already quite out of it. I admired more the sets, the action. The subject of inversion was then taken more and more to the extreme. At some point, people moved back and forth in time in parallel. On the one hand it was incredibly cool and chicly staged, but basically absolutely incomprehensible. The problem is this: While it would take a lot of (damned much) time to really understand what is happening in front of you, Christopher Nolan’s creation does not slow down. You have to put the thinking behind you in order to somehow follow the new confusion on the screen.
At some point the film ends. And it is just as I had read it before: No idea what just happened there, but it was cool. And that’s what makes the film worse than Nolan’s other works, which often and gladly played with time.
From an actor’s point of view, they did everything right. John David Washington is just a tough, inscrutable guy and therefore fits perfectly into the film. Robert Pattinson is a great sidekick with loose sayings. Elizabeth Debicki is just beautiful and Kenneth Branagh is a great villain.
Finally, just a few words that were said at the beginning of the film: “Don’t even try to understand it.”
My ★★★★ review of Tenet (2020) on @letterboxd: boxd.it/1kNIB7