Film Review: Tenet

‘Tenet’ is a film I really wanted to like more, however, because of its difficult, fast paced and attention-demanding narrative I was unable to properly enjoy it.

First things first, the technical work behind this film is absolutely amazing. There are many set pieces throughout ‘Tenet’ that are super impressive! In particular, there’s one fight scene midway through the film that is just mind-blowing. I honestly have no idea how Nolan and his crew could have put that scene, as well as many others in the film, together. I’d assume they would have done it through the use of some smart editing mixed in with some carefully planned stunt choreography? There are also a few time-reversal sequences that are really clever and unlike anything I’ve seen before in a film.

Despite all this, there was one thing that kind of disrupted my ability to enjoy the greatness hidden within this film and that was its fast-paced and ultra confusing plot-line. I felt when watching ‘Tenet’ that I was always ten steps behind whatever was currently happening on screen. Dialogue is quick and often hard to understand, the film cuts between scenes and periods of time without much warning, and the concept underpinning the entire narrative is quite hard to understand and conceptualize. This ultimately made it so hard for me to keep up with the film’s quick pacing and ultimately left me totally confused.

‘Tenet’ is without question Nolan’s most ambitious film to date, but at the same time, it is also his most overwhelming and challenging (for better or for worse). There’s only really one film I can think of that is more confusing than ‘Tenet’ (… Synecdoche, New York).

I hope with the help of a synopsis and some YouTube explanations that I will be able to re-watch ‘Tenet’ again and then be able to fully appreciate what it is trying to say. Until then, my current score of the film will remain a three out of five stars. Score: 3.0/5


I’m glad to say that a second time viewing really made ‘Tenet’ that extra bit better. Coming into the cinema having an idea of what happening allowed me to really appreciate the many layers of detail Nolan scattered throughout the film. I do still feel that dialogue is too quick and hard to understand, however, the film as a whole is outstanding.

If you didn’t like it the first time, watch some YouTube explanations and then give it one more chance, and I guarantee you’ll be able to appreciate and enjoy the film for what it is. Score: 4.0/5

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