Is Tenet worth the risk of going to the cinema?

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After months of cinemas closed due to the pandemic of the new coronavirus, the gradual reopening of exhibition rooms in our country brings to the screens Tenet, the long-awaited film by Christopher Nolan.

The filmmaker, known for mind-boggling works like Amnesia, The Origin, Interstellar and Dunkirk, presents a thought-provoking new concept for his fans: a threat, literally reversing the future, that could cause the end of humanity or unleash a war worldwide.

At the center of the plot are the protagonist (role of John David Washington) and his ally Neil (Robert Pattinson), who rush to unravel the mystery about reverse entropy and prevent “technology” from falling into the hands of a dangerous and controlling villain ( played by Kenneth Branagh).

With this premise, Nolan builds sequences of action in Tenet that will fill the eyes of the spectators, including scenes of “rewound” struggles and pursuits on highways in the “two directions” (of progression and retroaction in time), with technical care and the same grandeur seen in other productions of the filmmaker.

Hits and Stumbles in Tenet

Tenet’s physical rules are, essentially, the greatest attraction and the greatest success of the production, entertaining and maintaining the public’s attention in the construction of this curious fictional universe. Nolan, who directs and also signs the script for the film, is able to easily present the elements of science fiction and his new film exercise; however, the director leaves much to be desired with regard to the espionage plot that weaves the narrative.

Sometimes, the filmmaker seems to complicate the protagonist’s investigation too much, with false clues, smoke screens and secondary plots that add little to the whole (the story of Goya’s forger is an example); and, at the same time, the script uses some “backward” clichés (with the forgiveness of the joke), such as the presence of a cartoon villain and a damsel in distress.

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Still, an average movie within Christopher Nolan’s cinematography is not bad. On the other hand, it may be that Tenet is not the film-event that the exhibition market expected or will reestablish the spectators’ habit of going to the cinema – perhaps it should not even have stayed with that mission.

Certainly the production deserves to be checked on the big screen (the writer who watched you watched the movie in a booth at the invitation of Warner Bros., during non-business hours, with a few well-spread guests in an IMAX room and following all security protocols), but the pandemic is still there and worries. It would be irresponsible to indicate the feature to the general public at this time.

In this sense, it is always important to contextualize the artistic work about the historical time in which it was produced and released (in fact, it is somewhat disturbing that Tenet’s “future characters” wear respirators), but perhaps the studio should not have given in to the pressure from Nolan to release his film in theaters soon. Tenet is grandiose, full of cool ideas and with a cinematographically instigating concept, but it is far from unmissable, urgent or worth the risk of putting your health in danger.


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