Tenet: Christopher Nolan’s Latest Is A Reminder Of The Power Of Cinema

With cinemas having spent the past few months shut, closing their doors as the pandemic struck, the magical experience of seeing a film on the big screen has been missed.

And there couldn’t be a better choice of movie to remind us of the sheer power of cinema than Tenet, writer and director Christopher Nolan’s most ambitious project to date.

With Tenet, Nolan continues to push the boundaries of cinema with original storytelling, groundbreaking action and that all important blend of blockbuster, brawn and brains.

In fact, this is arguably Nolan’s most complex and layered story yet, throwing you right in at the deep end with very little exposition, challenging audiences by quickly introducing them to a plethora of ideas that will set your minds ticking into overtime.

Admittedly a second viewing may be required to fully understand everything going on, not that it will give you the answers to all your questions. But this is a good thing, as there is something rather beautiful about a mystery and ambiguity.

Whilst the ideas may to some degree be challenging, it doesn’t at all get in the way of the film being the rip-roaring absolute ride of a rollercoaster it is.

Warner Bros. Pictures

From minute one the action unfolds at breakneck speed, leaving you no breathing time to think about such things such as the physics of time inversion. Leave that pondering for after the credits have rolled.

As a character says in the film: ‘Don’t try to understand it. Feel it’.

Nolan is well known for his tactile approach to action, doing as much as physically possible for real, and the results are phenomenal, especially when you give these sequences an added fresh twist, something he often does in Tenet which makes it even that more impressive.

Although it does have to be said in the climatic action scene that ‘wow factor’ from earlier sequences is slightly lacking.

Warner Bros. Pictures

The director is also famous for being a 007 fan, and whilst Inception was previously seen as being his Bond-like movie, Tenet truly is that project.

Of course Nolan adds his own trademark spin from the inclusion of physics, emphasis on time and non-linear storytelling, but there is very much a Bond feel throughout as we are introduced to his version of the world of international espionage.

Like with Bond there are plenty of heists, missions, secret agendas, torture and deception, with stunning shots of luxurious locations, and a cool, pounding score, this time from the fantastic Ludgwig Goransson, also thrown into the mix.

Audiences are always encouraged to see Nolan’s films on the big screen, preferably IMAX, and there really is good reason why, allowing you to be fully absorbed by the immersive experience.

Warner Bros. Pictures

Although Nolan’s films often pick up nominations when it comes to awards season, the actors in his movies are often overlooked, but hopefully this won’t be the case with Tenet as each performance is simply superb – not that they weren’t in his previous films though.

John David Washington is an exemplary leading man, perfectly giving his cool, calm and collected Protagonist an irresistible edge that draws you in, with his entertaining quips adding in comic relief.

Meanwhile, after giving us brilliant performances in the likes of Good Time and The Lighthouse, Robert Pattinson continues to excel, and it would have been great to have spent more time with his charismatic and cheeky character Neil.

Warner Bros. Pictures

Playing a smooth operator who also acts with a degree of rawness, Pattinson’s performance has me even more convinced he will be a great Batman, and Bruce Wayne.

Like with all of Nolan’s movies at the centre is an emotional story, with Elizabeth Debicki’s Kat being very much the beating heart and driving force here.

Treating her character with affection and elegance, Debicki continues to be an incredibly strong performer ensuring Kat’s storyline is one of the most powerful and affecting in the movie.

Warner Bros. Pictures

Although it isn’t his best work, Inception continues to be Nolan’s greatest accomplishment, Tenet is an outstanding achievement and a spectacular piece of cinema.

A sensory and stimulating experience unlike any other that fully absorbs you, it is the perfect welcome back to the magic of the big screen experience.

Tenet hits cinemas 26th August.

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Emily Murray

Emily Murray


Emily is a journalist and film critic who unashamedly cries at most movies having got too emotionally attached. When not at the cinema, she is at home cuddling her cat Holmes, whilst binge watching New Girl. She can be found on Twitter @emilyvmurray