Tenet — Nolan’s version of James Bond

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I ended up watching Tenet again yesterday. I have liked Nolan since Batman Begins. Before Nolan, Batman movies had become a joke. Every now and then, I still enjoy watching the nipple heavy Batman and Robin with all its lame puns and middle aged ‘teen’ Robin.

But, there is no denying that Batman and Robin really was a horrible movie. Yes, I am glad Nolan was picked up by WB to make Batman hardcore again. Unfortunately, Nolan has become a trope in himself. There is some kind of a ‘Nolan’ formula that he has been perfecting since he started making movies, and now, with all his influence and fan base, he is doing ‘Nolan’ formula movies every 2 to 4 years.

It’s similar to the ‘Tim Burton’ formula, I guess. Nothing wrong with following formula. But after a while, it becomes tiresome. That’s what Tenet is. A tiresome movie that seems to a cross between James Bond and unnecessary time travel stuff.

The Vagueonist?

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Every Nolan movie goes outs of its way to make it hard to understand the plot. I don’t know why he does that. The more famous he gets, the more vagueness is in his movies. Inception was the last time when a Nolan movie made sense. I still remember watching Inception, and thinking,

‘Why is Mr. Saito giving important exposition with a helicopter blade whirring loudly above his head?’

Answer : Nolan does not want us to hear the dialogue. For some bizarre reason, since Inception, Nolan thinks, impossible to hear dialogue = better movie?

Then, Dark Knight Rises had so many plot holes, its impossible to take it seriously. It’s still good but just not the same. Of course, Bane’s voice. He was scary, until he starts speaking. Then, it becomes hilarious

Then, Interstellar. Another grand movie with even more confusing time travel stuff. Dunkirk. I love that movie, but I cannot watch it again. Meddling with time and stuff. Again.

Now, we have the reached the logical conclusion of everything Nolan. Dialogues that don’t make sense. Sound design that makes it hard to understand what characters are talking without subtitles. Even more time travel things which creates more plot holes than it solves.

So, air moves backwards, but does blood does not? why not?

If The Protagonist already knows his partners death, why not warn him? If the villain can use future knowledge change the past, why not the heroes?

May be they are not plot holes. I am probably just too dumb to understand the intricate story telling that is in front of me.

Awesomeness on Display

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Now that I am done with my complaining about the too much of ‘Nolanness’ of the movie, I can tell the great things about the movie.

Once you get past the Nolan elements, we have an extremely cool looking James Bond movie. You got a hard core, balls to brains, government operative. Working for a secretive organization. He has been given some cool ‘time’ gadgets. He has a side kick which most James Bond movies get anyway. There are some incredibly staged action set pieces.

Action scenes is where Nolan always shines. The guy has an amazing ability to turn even simple shoot outs into elaborate dance pieces. I think what makes Nolan movies so good is that the action is always happening over grand set pieces. I think the only other person who stages such large scale action set pieces with this much detail is Michael Bay.

Then, the music. This is another aspect of Nolan that is getting repetitive but there is just enough difference here to appreciate it. The casting, the acting and epic scope of the story is always built to blow your mind.

Love The Villain

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For some reason, I ended up liking the villain a lot. He’s very funny. I am not sure if that was intentional. The accent, the mega plan to end the world. The sudden bursts and dialogue that looks so out of place in a Nolan movie. It’s almost like the villain from some other movie who took over the original, more serious, mask wearing villain that is usually present in a Nolan movie.

Behind all that funny-ness, there is a much darker character. There are hints of it. Nolan is not going to make a character that resembles the 80s type villain, but yes, this guy is pure evil. He has done some serious bad stuff. He is, essentially, a mix of all bond villains.

They don't show what he has done, but it’s their. Behind the curtain.

Final Note

Ultimately, Tenet is the most ‘Nolan’ of all his movies. It has all the great things about Nolan. It also has all the bad things (the impossible to understand dialogues, obsession with time for the sake of time manipulation itself, self inflicted plot holes. How exactly did Batman fix his back and climb a well? ). It continues to have all the grand things — music, action set pieces and an incredible cast.

Despite all the complaints, I like this movie. Hopefully, next movie will bring the balance back to The Dark Knight levels.

I work as a full time freelance software developer and coding tutor. Hire me at UpWork or Fiverr. My personal website is here. I also have a Podcast. Thanks for reading.

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Jay

Jay

Freelance Tutor — Coding, Generative Art and Photoshop. Full Name : Vijayasimha BR

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