Tenet ★★★★★

Watched 4K UHD edition

I think looking at Nolan's work as a whole is fascinating. Ignoring Insomnia for a moment, which is a good film but is the only feature's he's made without a writing credit, there seem to be two distinct phases for me: 'Pre-Interstellar' and 'Post-Interstellar'. All his movies leading up to Interstellar, while still being the puzzle boxes that propelled him to fame, are concerned with emotion: they are driven predominantly by loss and family. Nolan seems to be most focused on his script and using his direction to further the script. For me, this reached its zenith in Interstellar, which is easily his most sentimental work - with it even being too sentimental for a lot of his audience (me not included). But since that, his last two films seem to have inverted (nudge, nudge) that formula. Dunkirk and Tenet are in no way concerned with sentimentality or emotion, they seem pure directorial, action achievements. He strikes me as much more focused on himself as a director here than as a screenwriter (not that the scripts aren't great but they aren't the highest priority for him anymore... they further his direction not the other way round). Having kicked into another gear as a director, Nolan has moved from making films of emotion to making movies of action setpieces, be they sci-fi or in WW2. Personally, I love both... and whether his next few movies are in the mould of Interstellar or Tenet, I'll be there for them, queuing up opening day for a 15/75mm IMAX screening.

I also want to say that I don't mean that his last two movies aren't emotional and don't have great scripts. I think there are moments in both Dunkirk and Tenet that are gut-wrenchingly powerful and where, depending on the viewing, I've cried. And I also think, as evidence by how much I've watched this, they're amongst his most rewatchable. But I think Nolan's priorities have shifted somewhat.

Also, I've said it before but I will keep saying it for the rest of time: Hoyte and Ludwig's work on here has the potential to be era-defining.

Raúl liked this review