After closed months, movie theaters returned to exhibit a blockbuster unprecedented in the United States. Christopher Nolan’s new film Tenet is a science fiction thriller that, as the director likes to do, has a complex plot and an interesting twist at the end. Having opened in several countries, the feature already has criticisms and comments about the way it all fits together in the end.
Below, we present a central idea of Tenet with some explanations made about how the plot happens. Remember that the text has spoilers of the plot and the end of the film.
The whole concept of the film is based on the idea that time can be reversed. This was presented in the trailers and in the title, and the plot can be seen from the middle of the feature, when the story begins to be narrated backwards. However, as Robert Pattinson has already commented, Tenet is not about time travel.
To explain this, the film uses a concept of reversing the order of how things happen. At one point in one of the trailers, the character of John David Washington enters a room where a shooting is supposed to have happened and says that “it hasn’t happened yet”. The idea is a little confusing, but it basically means that it is possible to reverse time, even if the story and the characters move into the future.
For this reason, from the middle of the film, history begins to repeat itself, at the same time that it advances. The events that have been seen so far are needed in another way, to explain the concept of the film narratively. In the end, it is revealed that the Washington character is responsible for everything that happens in the film when he started the Tenet program in the future. Thus, the film ends the cycle, which starts the same way it ends, however, in reverse.