Mad’s review published on Letterboxd:
He did it! Nolan finally hits "fuck it" mode and goes all out. All brain, no heart. All precision, no warmth. And believe it or not, it actually works. Superbly well.
Here's my theory: The Dark Knight Rises and Interstellar, two films of varying qualities I should add, now in retrospect feel like Chris getting all his sentiment out of the system. The stark difference in approach between Interstellar and Dunkirk alone should stand testament to that, since the latter revealed a new side of Nolan as a filmmaker and artist; or maybe one he's always been like.
As is obvious by now, Tenet has plenty of the audiences divided and confused, left scratching their heads. I am not gonna try to defend it against any of the criticisms since they are all valid: it is a very convoluted film, more heavy on the mechanism and physics of the plot and the action than any remote sign of human emotion, that despite its relative lack of in earlier Nolan joints still found its way to the forefront in one way or the other. But Tenet is, like I said earlier, all brain no heart, all precision no warmth.
And yet it works! It's an extremely fun 2.5 hour romp filled with some of Nolan's best formal craft to date, probably his best looking and sounding film, boasting Göransson's perfectly accompanying score. The cast is clearly committed to the ambitious vision behind it, with Washington, Pattinson and Debicki knocking it out of the park (special shout out to the queen Dimple Kapadia, making us proud 🥳).
And most of all, it's just so unbelievably enjoyable watching a huge name filmmaker like Nolan playing around in his sandbox, orchestrating it all from behind the scenes, coming up with a genuinely exhilarating big-budget experience like this. Can't wait to watch it again, coz I'm sure it'll be even better the second time.
Probably not what I expected or even wanted, and maybe it is a clusterfuck overindulgent mess, but I could not care less. It's just fun!