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The Skyhawk View

September 2020 Volume 7, Issue 1

Issue Table of Contents

“Tenet” Reivents Time Travel and Spy Thrillers

“Tenet” now showing in theaters
“Tenet” now showing in theaters

By Ethan Ainley

After a few months, we are finally getting some new blockbusters released in theaters. As Christopher Nolan was intending he will be the one that welcomes audiences back to the movie theater. However, is his new film

“Tenet” a worthy film to welcome everyone back? “Tenet” is a palindrome, which means it is a word spelled the same forwards and backwards. The title was chosen for this exact reason to represent the time inversion that Nolan is exploring.

Christopher Nolan is known for his strikingly realistic action and effects. In every frame of this film, it is impossible to tell where CGI is used and that is because hardly any was used. Nolan’s practical effects help make the idea of time travel (or inversion as he calls it) feel possible in our reality.

“Tenet” has a thought-provoking and complex plot that will more than likely take multiple viewings to fully understand. It combines the expensive and dazzling visuals of a true blockbuster with the multi-layered plot of a spy thriller.

Another Nolan trope is on full display in the film’s sound design and mixing. Much of the foghorn score is blasted over dialogue, leaving the viewer missing some important words that could help go towards understanding the plot. This is intended as Nolan loves creating an atmosphere with his sound, but in this case, he might have gone overboard.

Christopher Nolan can write a complex story in his sleep, but his characters here are dull as ever. The only connection to them comes from the actors and their performances.

Nolan doesn’t focus on characters but instead puts effort towards fleshing out and developing the plot they inhabit. In “Tenet” he writes a cliched and stereotypical villain, a flat female character, and an under-developed protagonist.

Overall, “Tenet” isn’t Nolan’s best, but it is not his worst. It was a fun and complex ride that I can’t wait to take again later down the line. It is more than worthy of viewing in a theater to fully experience this fascinating and fresh take on time travel.

“Tenet”: 8/10