Tenet Review: Christopher Nolan's Bond style flick starring John David Washington is fast, furious & grandiose

Tenet is Christopher Nolan at his comfort level, which is fast, furious and even confusing but more than anything, it's a larger than life James Bond-style spectacle that needs to be seen to be believed.

Karishma Shetty
Written by Karishma Shetty , Journalist
Updated on Dec 05, 2020 | 05:20 AM IST | 739.5K
Tenet Review: Christopher Nolan's Bond style flick starring John David Washington is fast, furious & grandiose
Tenet Review: Christopher Nolan's Bond style flick starring John David Washington is fast, furious & grandiose


Tenet Cast: John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Dimple Kapadia, Kenneth Branagh

Tenet Director: Christopher Nolan

Tenet Stars: 3.5/5

Watching a Christopher Nolan film on the big screen almost seems like a pipe dream in 2020 but finally, Tenet makes its way to India... in a theatre near you. Earlier, many scratched their heads (with reasonable doubt!) over Nolan's insistence on releasing Tenet only in theatres, amid a global pandemic, rather than the safer, more profitable option of an OTT platform. After watching Tenet, you finally understand the why.

'Grandiose' wouldn't be a strong enough word, to sum up, what viewing Tenet feels like on the big screen. The storyline; at least from what I have understood from first viewing (multiple viewings are definitely happening), it's not specifically about time travel as the characters immediately diminish that theory. It's basically "technology that can reverse an object's entropy" and it's up to The Protagonist (John David Washington) as the mysterious organisation Tenet's new 'rep' guy to stop World War 3. Coming across bullets going backwards trail him to Russian arms dealer Andrei Sator (Kenneth Branagh) and his estranged wife Kat (Elizabeth Debicki).


If you think you'd be able to decipher Tenet in one shot, you're clearly mistaken. Given how 'time' has always been a central trope to play with for Nolan, Tenet joins the list of his previous classics like Inception where it takes multiple viewings, as said before, to gauge into the nitty-gritty of the complex plotline. Nolan films were never everybody's cup of tea and even Tenet will leave you majorly confused. But, that's what makes Nolan, well... Nolan!

With Tenet, you're never given time to breathe and that's the best part. It's fast-paced and furious and has the James Bond antics throughout; from globe-trotting the world, including India, to the larger-than-life action set pieces. Whether it be blowing up a plane, bungee-jumping from one building to another and a time-bending car chasing sequence (you have to see it to believe it!). Tenet is an all-out action film with the element of time attached to it. Hence, it caters to the 'intellects' and the 'no-brainers' equally. Giving his usual suspect Hans Zimmer a miss this time around, Nolan had the brilliant composer Ludwig Göransson take over Tenet's music and the sound balances between sublime and screechy, at parts.

ALSO READ: EXCLUSIVE: Tenet's Dimple Kapadia on scary audition, Christopher Nolan & Indian stars succeeding in Hollywood

As for the performances, Washington's role as The Protagonist has its hits and misses, but what lacks is the emotions. In Dunkirk, your heart broke for each and every soldier; in Tenet, you really don't care and actually want bad stuff to happen just to see it all splayed across the big screen. Pattinson's cool schtick works like a charm while Debicki was pleasantly delightful. Kenneth's take Sator has a 'seen that before' aspect, especially with that over-the-top accent. Dimple Kapadia as Priya is truly remarkable in her limited screen time, which in a Nolan film, doesn't necessarily mean as a bad thing.

But, the true king of Tenet is Christopher Nolan himself. Tenet feels like Nolan at his most comfortable; it's fast, furious and also confusing. And, he's completely unapologetic about it! Like I said before, Tenet isn't everyone's cup of tea but if you were to make your theatre viewing comeback after months, you couldn't have asked for a better film.


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A writer - with 6+ years of experience - who loves to scribe! Currently curating content for Hollywood and jumping



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