Tenet

Tenet ★★★½

My first re-watch of TENET did help remedy some of the issues I had with it originally. For one, the sound mixing was much better at home than it was my theater. The dialogue at times is still hard to decipher without subtitles, but overall the mix was improved. Also, the subtitles helped provide some lucidity regarding the film's superficial plot and the banter we hear between characters in the action scenes.

That said, TENET is still a film that leaves plenty to be desired for me. A conversation could be had about how some details are confounding and poorly articulated, but the biggest wedge is how empty these characters are, aside from Kat. The vague, Dunkirk-style approach to Neil and The Protagonist does not make any sense to me given how defined Sator and Kat are as characters. By the end of the film, we know what The Protagonist's role is as it relates to Tenet, but do we know anything else about him? Do we know anything about Neil? Their friendship is endearing enough, I guess, but they lack nuance. I'm not sure what's driving their choices throughout the film. And Nolan's pacing doesn't allow for any reflection on their humanity. Which is frustrating on its own, but more so when you couple it with how murky the plot is at times and how some of the action plays out.

I think I like TENET much more on paper than in execution. At least when it comes to Neil and the Protagonist. The idea of their relationship is a good one, but in execution it's too facile. I still love the science. Love the inventiveness of the action. LOVE Kat's arc and how that crystallizes.

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