Trying to live your life during a pandemic is odd, sure you somehow have more time to pursue hobbies or binge through that backlog of yours on Netflix (or any other streaming service). But because of the pandemic not much is happening entertainment wise, many movies and shows have been postponed or stopped filming and at a certain moment in time you start longing for fresh new content.
The big Hollywood bosses decided that Tenet and Mulan would be the first movies to figure out how people would respond if new content gets released. Disney did not believe that people would go to the cinemas and went with a VIP-pass on top of your Disney+ subscription allowing you to “buy” their new blockbuster movie Mulan. Warner Bros. believed a slow roll-out throughout the world would be the right way for their movie Tenet. So do we feel safe enough to go back to the cinemas?
My friend and I are avid moviegoers and throughout the year we will look at the list of upcoming movies and determine if they are worth seeing in the cinemas, wait for it to hit streaming services or just ignore it. Tenet was one of those movies on that list so when Warner Bros. decided to finally release it we wanted to go as soon as possible. But… COVID is still a thing…
In our country there are some rules when it comes to tackling this pandemic. Of course keep your distance, wash your hands often or use hand sanitizers, wear a face-mask (in crowded areas) and follow curfews. I personally try to follow these rules as good as possible and am even more strict where others might be a bit negligent. So when we finally saw a chance to go to the cinema again, I put on my hazmat suit, because Tenet was on the menu!
Tenet is the latest in the works of Nolan and as always he tries to tackle certain “stuff”, for lack of a better word. In the Batman trilogy it was the symbolism of the Batman, Memento was focused on memory, in Interstellar the practical implications of a black hole was discussed and Inception showed the wonderful world and power of dreams. With Tenet we are time travelling. Well not exactly like how it works in Back To The Future or Avengers Endgame. In this movie it is more like a rewind function. At first it is a bit confusing. In the opening scene of the movie they try to explain it with a bullet which is travelling backwards towards the gun calling it entropy. This explanation however makes absolutely no sense to me. So without spoiling the plot of the movie I’ll try to explain how the mechanics of time work in Tenet.
In normal time, you would travel from A at 9:00 AM and arrive at B at 10:00 AM. This takes you 1 hour and you move forward in time.
Now in this movie they show a mechanic which then allows you to experience this in reverse. Your starting point will be B at 10:00 AM and as you travel “forward” from your point of view, you are actually experiencing time backwards, counting the minutes back to 9:00 AM and arriving at A.
Thankfully later on in the movie several examples are shown to make you comprehend this concept with the finale having an extensive scene where multiple forward and reverse timelines are shown simultaneously. It was at this specific moment in the movie my head started hurting, trying to keep track of it all.
Story wise the movie isn’t anything special. Some bad guy wants to do bad stuff, and a couple of good guys want to stop him. Sure the movie has a great soundtrack, ambiance and action, but without the whole time-reversal-concept it just would be an “OK” movie. Therefor I’m very happy that Nolan put an unique spin on the whole concept. And of course, as with most Nolan movies, you will be left with some questions when you are walking out of the cinema.
Talking about the cinema: I had the unique chance to watch this movie in 70mm which in itself is something special already. The image you are seeing has a better aspect ratio and the details are much more crisp. In layman’s terms, it is close to 8k quality. I believe movies like this should be watched in this format.
Below some pictures of the projector which was used during our screening. The film for this movie weighs over 200 kg and everything has to be done manually. The result however is stunning.