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Christopher Nolan's Tenet - Espionage Movie


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I had no problem with it being loud, after all as indicated by Purin above, I want it to drown out the other "cunts". A lot of films have really weak sound and its offputting. The issue here with the film is not the volume but its the mix. Nolans had previous complaints about the dialogue in the mix and he says he wants it that way. 

 

The film on a whole has almost been written and filmed in a deliberately oblique way, to generate discussion and your own interpretation on things. Potentially on a 2nd watch it will make sense, but I'll be the first to admit a lot of it went right over my head, even though I was concentrating hard!

 

One bit that bugged me when I was watching it:

The main character is on a highly secure yacht of a Russian psychopath, and somehow when he is back in his quarters he has a fucking gun, not just one, but two, which he gives to the Russian's wife. HOW DID HE GET GUNS ON BOARD!? I also thought I'd missed some sort of emotional connection between him and the Russian's wife, like he really cared about her, for some reason, like it was his first rookie job or something)

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On 05/09/2020 at 21:27, Liamness said:

I just remembered one particularly stupid line

 

Was as if it was a bit of direction in the script that the actor went ahead and read out loud by mistake. Character X has motivation Y. We are now emotionally invested.

 

I saw this last night and loved it.  Ridiculous film, but also awesome.

 

This may be an obvious thing to comment on - not been through this thread yet as I’d been avoiding it - but there were more than a few moments when it reminded me of Red Dwarf....

 

Spoiler

Obviously the Backwards episode, from walking backwards to the speech that is backwards, but also the line quoted above...

 

“Everyone’s going to die”.... “Even my son?”

“Everyone’s dead Dave” ... “Even Peterson?”

 

Made me laugh, which seemed to confuse the couple next to me :)

 

Not sure if I’d want to see it again or not.  My wife didn’t come with me so will probably wait till it’s out on Blu-ray now and watch again then.  Was great being back in the cinema though.

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I had the place to myself when I went to see this yesterday. Cinemas have been open for a while in China but people are still keeping away most of the time.

 

Anyway, the film was decent enough. Nothing world changing, but it's depressing that there are about two directors left who have the freedom to make whatever nonsense they want, and the response from some people is that the suits at the studios need to rein them in. We have a million fucking films like that, thanks.

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Just got back from seeing it. I haven’t read up anything yet, thought I’d post my initial thoughts here. We were the only 2 people in our lovely brand new Everyman Cinema, so as a movie-going experience it was unbeatable. I loved it, the wife wasn’t quite as enthused but still enjoyed it. As many others have said, the sound mix was off as the loud bits were mega loud and some of the dialogue was hard to hear, but not so much that I missed anything vital I don’t think. 
 

For me, no-one else except maybe Denis Villeneuve makes cerebral blockbusters like this. To paraphrase Mark Kermode, Nolan is a director who says to the audience, you’re smart enough to get this so try and keep up. I love that he is allowed to make films that are so mind-bending. There were plenty of early hints at what was going on and most of those paid off for me. I have one major reservation which I have not researched yet that I’ll spoiler below. 
 

Spoiler

At the end of the movie, presumably they have altered the timeline (by Kat killing Sator), so the car heist in Tallinn now won’t happen. I don’t have a problem with that, if you subscribe to the many worlds theory. But, that means there are now 2 Kats in the world, as the original Kat won’t now get inverted in Tallinn.  The Kat we see at the very end picking up Max is the ‘older’ Kat, as she has the phone P gave her, so what happened to the original who is blissfully unaware of the whole thing. Did they just shoot her in the head?

 

I do think there is some credence to the theory of Neil being Max grown up. You can almost see him being recruited on a mission to save his mother from his father.  
 

At the end, I read it as Neil is about to go off to his death, picking the lock and taking a bullet for P. P (and Ives too) knows this (as he is visibly upset) but he has to let it happen to achieve the mission. Does that sound right?

 

It won’t happen as this won’t have taken anywhere near enough money, but I’d be well up for more of P and Neil’s time-bending adventures.

 

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Actually I’ve just read a plot summary online which means my supposed plot hole isn’t at all. 
 

Spoiler

The Sator on the yacht is actually future Sator come back to die at the point he was happiest. So past Sator is still alive to go and do the car heist, Kat will still get inverted and there will only be one Kat left. 
 

Also I now feel really sorry for Neil, who cheerily went off to die. So he saves P’s life twice in the movie, the other time being the opera, which P realises right at the end. R-Pats was great in this. 

 

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21 hours ago, Gigawatt said:

Actually I’ve just read a plot summary online which means my supposed plot hole isn’t at all. 
 

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The Sator on the yacht is actually future Sator come back to die at the point he was happiest. So past Sator is still alive to go and do the car heist, Kat will still get inverted and there will only be one Kat left. 
 

Also I now feel really sorry for Neil, who cheerily went off to die. So he saves P’s life twice in the movie, the other time being the opera, which P realises right at the end. R-Pats was great in this. 

 

 

It brought a creepy smile to my face seeing this follow-up post after the one before it :) basically, exactly that! 

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It’s very thought-provoking isn’t it? I think on more reflection it really does hold together well, maybe even more so than Inception. I definitely want to go see it again so I can spot the early clues. 
 

Spoiler

I’ve now changed my mind on the Neil being Max thing. I think it’s an inelegant solution as it would mean P waiting till Max was old enough to be recruited and then going back a long time to before the events of the movie. We’ve seen that going back is awkward at best, because you need your own air etc. 
 

Far more likely in my opinion is that P goes back a significant amount (years maybe) to be able to set up Tenet and recruits Neil then. The beauty of this, is that P knows Neil would pass ‘the test’ as he is going to sacrifice his life to save P. And I think that then they have some Jolly japes, mainly going forward, and probably both of them are at the opera in their Tenet capacity, but I don’t think we see P there.


 

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16 minutes ago, Gigawatt said:

It’s very thought-provoking isn’t it? I think on more reflection it really does hold together well, maybe even more so than Inception. I definitely want to go see it again so I can spot the early clues. 
 

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I’ve now changed my mind on the Neil being Max thing. I think it’s an inelegant solution as it would mean P waiting till Max was old enough to be recruited and then going back a long time to before the events of the movie. We’ve seen that going back is awkward at best, because you need your own air etc. 
 

Far more likely in my opinion is that P goes back a significant amount (years maybe) to be able to set up Tenet and recruits Neil then. The beauty of this, is that P knows Neil would pass ‘the test’ as he is going to sacrifice his life to save P. And I think that then they have some Jolly japes, mainly going forward, and probably both of them are at the opera in their Tenet capacity, but I don’t think we see P there.


 

 

I was confused about the air thing. So anytime you are going backwards in time you need your own air supply. And at some point we do believe that P goes back several years to found Tenet.  So, does he just have to spend 5 years with his own air supply sitting in a room somewhere? 

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At a guess:

 

Spoiler

He goes inverted, and has a facility large enough to sustain him for the time needed to go back. He gets out at 2015 and de-inverts*, puts a bet on Leicester to win the Premier League, and then uses that money to build the facility that he has travelled back in. It’s all getting very Primer in my head now which I love. 
 

Plus, all the time he’s inverted, his team could be talking to him, bringing him up to speed on what he needs to do to recruit them all when he gets there. Imagine an HBO miniseries of the Tenet adventures, it would be wild. 
 

*There would need to be a turnstile in the past for him to de-invert, so maybe the future helpers have made a facility for him which is fully inverted already, saving him the bother. That would be easier. I think Nolan probably hasn’t worked all that detail out. 
 

While we’re on the physics, if you were inverted, then surely all the photons are going the other way, so if you looked at the sun or any light source it would appear black to you? I assume you’d still be able to see stuff as there would be plenty of light bouncing around. Crazy!
 

 

 

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1 hour ago, sofasurfer said:

One thing that's been bothering me and I cannot get my head around

 

 

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Why was P initially stored in the wind turbine for a considerable amount of time? Maybe I missed why he had to wait things out.

 

 

I think it was...

Spoiler

... to avoid bumping into his other self while the plot is playing out.

 

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1 hour ago, Commander Jameson said:

 

I think it was...

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... to avoid bumping into his other self while the plot is playing out.

 

Which part of the plot would he have bumped into himself? I feel I need to see the movie again but as I see it 

 

 

the sequence of events was opera...torture...'recruited into Tenet' and then the rest of the narrative. The furthest back was his interaction with himself in the free port. Or am I missing something?

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It just doesn't explain itself enough for me. I was confused, and not in a "what does it all mean?" way (which is often quite enjoyable) but in a "who's that and who are they allied with and what are they trying to do and hang on why did that just happen" way (which isn't). Complexity is fine if it's a route to greater depth, but Nolan seems to view it as an end in itself and that's not a good ethos for filmmaking. Or anything really. 

 

Side note; I noticed Sator, Arepo, and a scene that took place in an opera, but there didn't seem to be any rotas? :coffee:

 

 

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14 hours ago, sofasurfer said:

Which part of the plot would he have bumped into himself? I feel I need to see the movie again but as I see it 

 

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the sequence of events was opera...torture...'recruited into Tenet' and then the rest of the narrative. The furthest back was his interaction with himself in the free port. Or am I missing something?

 

Spoiler

I took it as it being the safest and most discreet way for him to be off the radar so he could be recruited and then the waiting around was purely the fact that he had to appear like a normal Turbine worker to get back to land. Nothing fancy, just the logistics of secrecy and laying low while your getting recruited by a future version of yourself to save the world :) 

 

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Just been to see this for a second time. I am now fully in the loving it camp, and for me this is now up there with top-tier Nolan. All the little plot things I wasn’t sure about were smoothed out by catching some of the dialogue I missed and it all fits together perfectly for me. A couple of bits I didn’t notice first time round:

 

Spoiler

When they’re doing the vault heist first time round, Neil says “there’s someone in here with us”. It’s him pushing Kat on the hospital trolley. When they’ve all successfully de-inverted and drive away they drive past themselves walking in inverted. 
 

The mirror on the BMW is broken when they get in and becomes un-broken when they hit the Audi. Watching closely you can see P throw the McGuffin into the SAAB. 

 

As Neil and Blue team start the final assault (inverted) you can see Neil in the Humvee rescuing P and Ives from the hole, just a tiny detail but well done I thought. In fact the final battle made a load more sense second time round. 


R-Pats really was tremendous in this, and this time I also really liked Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s role. I didn’t find the sound as much of a problem this time, probably because I knew what was going on. It was the same screen so I’m sure the sound was the same. The music was banging. 
 

I think this has surpassed Interstellar and Dunkirk for me. It’s maybe not as visually spectacular as either of those but I think it’s tighter than Interstellar. Inception and the Prestige are still my favourites, as I think they are actually about something (grief, forgiveness, obsession) whereas I’m still not sure if this film has a message? If anything I guess it’s that being powerless to change the big picture doesn’t abrogate you of your responsibility to do something (as a climate change metaphor?). Anyway I’m not clever enough to work it out. Loved it, again. 

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Watching this film I was thinking, is that Aaron Taylor-Johnson? I wasn’t even sure it was him but thought wow if it is, he’s really got that English accent down. It’s really good.

 

When I got out I checked IMBD and had no idea he was English :facepalm: what a plum!

 

I really enjoyed this. I felt like I didn’t have a chance to take it all in as it whips along for quite some time before it gives you a breather.

 

I read that tongue in cheek story breakdown someone posted earlier in this thread and a few things clicked afterwards that I’d missed. I’m definitely looking forward to watching this again.
 

I’m in the loved it camp, but have to say I struggled to make out a lot of the dialogue. Even without the masks. I agree that the sound mix was all over the place.

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5 hours ago, Tempy said:

When I got out I checked IMBD and had no idea he was English :facepalm: what a plum!

You're not the first to make that mistake with an English actor. When I first saw Idris Elba in anything, he was Stringer Bell in The Wire. I was convinced he was Baltimore born and bred. Then I saw him in Rock'n'rolla and thought, what the fuck it this ridiculous english accent he's putting on. Of course, it's just his normal London accent. :)

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Until pretty recently, I thought Tom Hardy was Australian. And that Jeffrey Wright was British but played Americans. I’m not sure why. Maybe it just sounds like more of a British name. 

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After my second watch today I had an itching for some more Nolan and watched Dunkirk tonight. That is a spectacular film. I’m probably going to have to do a back catalogue run, although for my sins I’ve never seen Insomnia so I should probably do that first. 

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On 16/09/2020 at 17:03, Gigawatt said:


 

  Hide contents
 

Also I now feel really sorry for Neil, who cheerily went off to die. So he saves P’s life twice in the movie, the other time being the opera, which P realises right at the end. R-Pats was great in this. 

 


 

Spoiler

Although as it’s “time travel” he doesn’t have to start heading back in time immediately. It’s implied it’s happening straight away as you see the charms on his backpack, but as long as he keeps the same bag with him he could live for another 20 years as long as he eventually heads back to that point to sacrifice himself.

 

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11 hours ago, MrPogo said:

 

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Although as it’s “time travel” he doesn’t have to start heading back in time immediately. It’s implied it’s happening straight away as you see the charms on his backpack, but as long as he keeps the same bag with him he could live for another 20 years as long as he eventually heads back to that point to sacrifice himself.

 

Hmmmm, I suppose...

Spoiler

...he could be any age in that suit, seeing as he's masked up. There are so many permutations based on this film's rules of time and travel through it.

 

Fucking great film.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I like Nolan’s films. A lot. He is one of my favourite film-makers.

 

But Tenet is absolutely fucking wank. 

 

Overwrought, exposition filled, unconvincing performances. A clunky, yet somehow clinical and emotionless script. And a lead that is woefully miscast. He’s as unlikable, as he is stupid - and never fails to remind the audience he’s an actor, acting in a movie.

 

The score was alright I suppose (if somewhat overbearing) and Patterson did a good job - but other than that - I fucking hated it.

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22 hours ago, Dirty Harry Potter said:

He’s as unlikable, as he is stupid - and never fails to remind the audience he’s an actor, acting in a movie.

Says the person inappropriately using a comma and the word and. ;)

 

I thought Washington was great. Thought the film was great. 

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On 25/09/2020 at 23:55, Gigawatt said:

After my second watch today I had an itching for some more Nolan and watched Dunkirk tonight. That is a spectacular film. I’m probably going to have to do a back catalogue run, although for my sins I’ve never seen Insomnia so I should probably do that first. 

 

Insomnia is great. One of Pacino and especially Robin Williams best performances. It's certainly better than the overblown bollocks Nolan's films have become. I did love Dunkirk though.

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