Directed by: Christopher Nolan
Scoring $20 million in the biggest theatrical opening weekend since the pandemic, critically-acclaimed Hollywood director and auteur, Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet” is worth the risk of getting COVID-19 for. This latest visionary experience from the director stars some new faces to Nolan’s work, John David Washington (“BlacKkKlansman”), Elizabeth Debicki (“Widows,” “The Man from U.N.C.L.E”) and Robert Pattinson (“Twilight” series, “The Lighthouse”). You can still expect to see some Nolan favorites in the film, however, such as Michael Caine for a split second, but as someone who considered the performances to be the film’s greatest accomplishment, I think that Christopher Nolan cast the greatest cast of his career so far — and yes, I also said that three years back about “Dunkirk” and am officially replacing an old favorite of mine.
“Tenet” tells the story of a secret agent and unnamed protagonist (played by Washington) who embarks on a hazardous journey through time to prevent World War III. The summarized sentence itself is easy to understand, but don’t get me wrong: this film is a typical Christopher Nolan story and is anything but short of complex. The fact that John David Washington’s character does not even have an official name in the film already makes it that much more interesting and innovative. Nolan’s archetypal themes of morality and time are more than present throughout the film, but instead of feeling redundant, the themes instead feel as if they add a vital piece to the puzzle that is the filmmaker’s ultimate cinematic agenda. I believe that this is why Christopher Nolan’s films are always so recognizable as well. Not only are all of his typical stylistic choices still intact with this film, such as his revolving cinematography and slow but colorful editing, but also this particular narrative continues to reinforce the notion that, “time” is perhaps, the most powerful weapon in the world. Nolan’s films are always a great reminder about how precious and valuable time actually is.
As mentioned earlier, the acting was by far, my favorite aspect of “Tenet.” Star and son of the great Denzel Washington, John David Washington gives the performance of a lifetime and one even better than his Oscar-nominated one in “BlacKkKlansman” if you can even believe that. I have always considered him a great actor, but after this daring yet non-stop charming performance, he has officially become one of my favorite actors of all time. Speaking of charming, heartthrob, Robert Pattinson also does not disappoint, giving one of the most effortless performances of his acting career thus far. Pattinson definitely set the bar high for the upcoming, Warner Bros. “Batman” and I officially am counting down the days. Actress Elizabeth Debicki, who plays a wife in the wrong place at the wrong time in the film also gives a career-best performance. Those who know of Debicki’s work will more than likely love her, for her performances are always admirable and fierce. Two actors who had smaller roles in the film but are still worthy of a shoutout have to be Himish Patel (“Yesterday”) and Golden-Globe winning, Aaron Taylor Johnson (“Nowhere Boy,” “Nocturnal Animals”). I was disgusted to be quite frank, with Patel’s performance in “Yesterday” (2019) only due to my feelings about the film’s narrative as a hardcore Beatles stan, but he successfully redeemed himself in “Tenet”, giving the audience a side of him that we definitely have not seen before. As for Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s performance, I just love him personally as an actor, and when he appeared in the film out of nowhere, I was extremely excited. That’s genuinely all It was: an epic fan-girl moment.
All in all, “Tenet” is by far one of the best films I have seen in a very long time. I have been waiting to see this film the whole entire pandemic, and I give both Christopher Nolan and Warner Bros. full credit for taking the chance on releasing it theatrically due to high audience demand, instead of pushing the release date back further or taking people’s hard-earned money to experience it for a few hours on-demand (cough, cough, Disney). The film industry is in a position where they can make film buffs the happiest that they have ever been during such a hard time in the world simply by just releasing films in theaters again or releasing even more films on-demand. The fact that certain filmmakers and corporate studios are holding back their precious films because they are scared to lose money is ridiculous. Sure, it is important that films make the money they deserve, but their initial, primary purpose before the capitalist world we live in now was to simply entertain. And filmmakers are not doing their job by taking away one of the only entertainment films that can exist right now. All of this to say, props to “Tenet” for making 2020 better for once. I give this film a 10 out of 10 —prepare to have your mind blown.