Wow, I have not wrote a movie review in what feels like a long time. In reality, it has been around 2 months. During those absent months, I have been working on promoting my poem book and working as a screenwriter on several films. I have also been watching a lot of T.V. shows and movies because this world is so crazy and I have been staying home as much as possible to help stop the spread of COVID.
My next semester of school starts soon, but I plan on reviewing some of the films and shows I have watched. Among those movies is Tenet. Get ready for my very honest review. As a reminder, if you want a review with fancy words, this is not for you. I hate reading reviews that are very technical, I think they take the fun out of the work of art that is a film. Sooo, let’s get into it before I am another year older.
Tenet was hyped up.
Tenet was one of the first movies to appear in the theaters once they started to reopen after being closed due to COVID. Although my local theaters did eventually open, I did not see this movie in the theater, I waited for the DVD. I wanted to see this movie so bad that one of my goals for 2020 was to watch this movie. Yes, I am serious. Christopher Nolan makes great films and they are usually well thought out, so I wanted to see this movie as soon as I could. Also, the trailers for this film did not give away too much, so much of the plot remained a mystery.
Should I watch it?
I read movie reviews when I am trying to decide if I should buy a film or not, so let me be very blunt. I do not think that you need to watch this film. It wasn’t great. It left me unfulfilled and wishing that I did not buy the DVD. I could have waited until it eventually is available for free on some type of streaming network. I do not feel that this movie brought me anything. It did not make me emotional. It did not surprise me in a good way. It did not intrigue me. This movie fell flat on it’s face and broke it’s nose. (Sorry, Nolan. I still love your other films.)
What is it even about?
The film focuses around time: the past, present, and the future, and what that means in the world of the characters: protagonists, antagonists, inverted people, are some concepts that are hard to grasp because they are never really explained in depth. If you get confused easily, this movie is not for you. I am someone who catches on small clues and is a very avid and involved movie watcher, and this film was still very confusing for me. And I was trying very hard to understand. I wanted to like this film so bad.
If you have watched some of Nolan’s other films, like Interstellar (2014) and Inception (2010), you know that he is famous for making movies that deal with time and make you think profoundly about reality. But I do not think that this film was successful in its attempt to do that.
In my opinion, a film should be like a suitcase. Everything needed to understand the film should be in the film (suitcase) somewhere. A director should not be able to say, “Oh yeah, I made that character eat a banana because he is low in potassium and therefore my audience should know that just because I showed him eating a banana this one time.” Ok, maybe that is not a good example, but what I am trying to say is that part of the job of being the director is to carefully place clues throughout the film so the audience can figure out the plot without the writer explaining what happened after the film is over.
One example of a film that does this is, Enemy (2013). The film is not truly about anything. It is about a lot of different pieces that are not molded cohesively together in the end. Yet the person behind this film explains how profound the film is and how much is going on in it. However, none of this is explained in the film, so I think that is just a cop out. For instance, I could draw a draw a red circle and say that it symbolizes my love for Robert Pattinson, but in reality it is just a red circle and it means nothing. In other words, anything could be made to sound like a masterpiece if you dive in deep enough, but the best films are the ones that lay out the clues and let the audience put them together, and do not require 30 minutes of explaining after the film is over.
It physically hurts me to rate this movie so low, but I have to be honest. I did not like this film and I am not sure if I will ever watch it again. Maybe. Maybe I will get over how hard Nolan made it to understand his movie. He is usually a great director, so I think he could have done better and made this film more engaging and enjoyable to watch. I kept waiting for the movie to get better, but it didn’t. I kept waiting for the underlying message to be revealed, but by the time it was revealed it was already near the end of the film. The ‘why’ of the movie is not revealed soon enough. The backbone is invisible. I wanted more!
What did you think about this movie? Did you enjoy it? Did you want it at the movie theaters? Did you buy it on DVD? Were you so confused that you came to read my review just to make sure that you were not the only one who had no idea what was going on? Well, you are not the only one. I can confirm that, my friend.
Before watching this film, I watched an interview where Robert Pattinson said that he had no idea what the movie was about even while he was filming it. I thought that he was just trying to be funny, but now I understand that he was serious. He was very serious.
When a protagonist in a twilight world (whatever that means, because it was never truly explained) is tasked with saving the world by his future self, will he be able to survive inverted reality, or will he destroy it all? Dun dun dun….
Wow, that was a mouthful. I am glad I got all of that off of my chest. I feel better now. Sorry, Nolan.