Tenet ★★★★

2020 Films, Ranked / All Films Watched in 2020, Ranked / Nolan, Ranked

TENET 090220:

"there may be a time and place you feel threatened. talk. state your location. hang up."
"who gets the message?"

less a narrative film and more a logic/physics experiment. a stream of consciousness, backwards and forwards. he came up with a crazy idea and tested it; brought it to the forefront of every scene, molding it, shaping it in an attempt to break it.
i don't connect every dot and absorb & appreciate the methodology. less plot holes and more disregard for plot continuity. maybe that distinction is meaningless, but i don’t care. i don't even really agree that it's complicated, it's just that you only need to understand broad strokes to receive the intended information. simultaneously the most convoluted and least complicated film he's made.

"you have no idea what i'm talking about, do you?"
"no, but it sounds terribly important."

the progression is the timing of the information presented, and not necessarily the actions taken upon that information. the clear intent is to keep you moving, and it provides the energy to move you from one action spectacle to the next. the film operates at a blistering pace.
it's only concerned with your knowledge of the world crafted and is thoroughly up its own ass regarding that world and the espionage in it. can't help but be in awe of the mechanisms built. it's almost a fuck you to criticism of his weak narrative structure in past films. an attempt to ignore the need for a narrative structure altogether. he doesn't even name his main character, simply gives him "The Protagonist."
cold is the buzzword oft-ascribed, and for good reason. it is near joyless and calculated to the point of cynicism. i love it. hard not to, watching John David Washington calmly gliding through a kitchen beating a man to death with a cheese grater. Pattinson, Debicki, and Branagh are great. probably ends up my favorite of Nolan's films. demands repeat viewings.

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