Tenet ★★½

Formally ambitious in its execution and thematic content, Christopher Nolan unspools an unsolvable cinematic riddle that feels like a prank and is altogether fruitless. His tentpole spectacle Tenet follows the adventures of a secret agent known as The Protagonist who embarks on a time-bending mission to save everyone against an impending world war. Nolan is at his A-game as always, acquiring full creative control to every corner of his direction. From his bombastic set pieces, to skillful and detailed technical work—Nolan has consistently proved his authorial prowess except for one thing: storytelling. The implications of the drama whether it’s a cry for climate change awareness, or fatalism in the midst of technological advancement are all probable, and sufficiently valid concerns. However, Nolan overplays and overcomplicate these themes and fill them with a whole bunch of malarkeys.

John David Washington is quite uncharismatic in the lead role unfortunately. It might be because of Nolan’s specific writing that made his character too distant, yet Washington tries his best to make sense of everything. Robert Pattinson uses his charm as always relaying a “bromantic” dynamic between him and Washington. Elizabeth Debicki is amazing in a role that is slightly underdeveloped. Debicki is the lone character whom I related to the most when she claimed “I don’t understand,” and that’s quite a mood. Veteran Indian thesp Dimple Kapadia also shines in a brief, but forceful turn as an important arms leader.

Tenet is a completely technical marvel from start to finish, but it does not have to be this complicated to exist. The film’s aimless perspective to reveal something significant doesn’t actually reveal anything other than a joke that present itself to the viewer. Sometimes it doesn't hurt being simple and straightforward to connect.

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