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Tenet [2020] (2 discs)

Director:Christopher Nolan
Writer:Christopher Nolan
Composer:Ludwig Goransson
Length:150 minutes
(2 hours 30 minutes)
MPAA Rating:PG-13
Sorting Category:SciFi
IMDB Rating:7.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating:70%
Amazon Rating:4.0/5 stars
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  • Sci-Fi
  • Action
  • Mystery
  • Drama
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Synopsis: Armed with only one word, Tenet, and fighting for the survival of the entire world, a Protagonist journeys through a twilight world of international espionage on a mission that will unfold in something beyond real time.

Reaction: Easy to get confused while watching, but thrilling to experience. Very good film.

Personal Rating: 8/10

Christopher Nolan => Director / Writer
Ludwig Goransson => Composer
Aaron Taylor-Johnson => Ives
Clémence Poésy => Barbara
Dimple Kapadia => Priya
Elizabeth Debicki => Kat
Fiona Dourif => Wheeler
Himesh Patel => Mahir
Jack Cutmore-Scott => Klaus
John David Washington => Protagonist
Jonathan Camp => SWAT 2
Josh Stewart => Male Voice (voice)
Kenneth Branagh => Sator
Lisa Marie => Soldier (uncredited)
Martin Donovan => Fay
Matthew Marsden => Blue Team Soldier
Michael Caine => Crosby
Rich Ceraulo Ko => Target / SWAT
Robert Pattinson => Neil
Wes Chatham => SWAT 3

Random Trivia For This Title:

  • Strictly speaking, this film is not about time travel in the usual sense: that concept implies that one can go back to any random point in the past, be it ten minutes or ten years, with the same effort. This film uses the concept of reversing the flow of time, meaning that for the characters to go back ten days in time to a specific event, they must spend ten days in reverse time to end up there. Contrary to what one may think, this is not the first film to use this idea: the concept was also used in Primer (2004).
  • Throughout the film, the color red is used to indicate time going forward and blue is used to indicate a time inversion. This is a reference to the Doppler effect, by which bodies of light traveling away from the Earth appear red as the light waves are stretched outwards (red shift), and bodies of light traveling towards the Earth appear blue as the light waves are compressed together (blue shift).
  • Custom equipment and lenses were made for the film that allowed IMAX cameras to be used more heavily. For instance, a custom camera head was built for the film that would fit within a car and let an IMAX camera be turned around 360 degrees. Lenses were also constructed that would allow the filmmakers to shoot in lower-light situations, something that is traditionally limited when shooting with IMAX cameras. In order to achieve certain in-camera effects, IMAX worked with the filmmakers to rebuild mechanics and electronics in their cameras to enable them to shoot both backwards and forwards. The production also utilized the latest generation of what are called "blimps" - sound-reducing housings for the notoriously noisy cameras - which allowed more scenes to be shot using the format.
  • Elizabeth Debicki insisted on auditioning for her role, despite director Christopher Nolan offering her the part without one. It was important to her to know that she could do what he was looking for, and according to the director she came in and blew everyone away.
  • The initial meeting between director Christopher Nolan and Robert Pattinson lasted three hours. Pattinson explained that by the end of the meeting he had a massive blood sugar drop because they had been talking so much and he had been concentrating so hard. He asked Nolan for a chocolate that was on the table in front of them, and then the director immediately ended the meeting. Pattinson thought that he had ruined his opportunity to have a part in the film.
  • Robert Pattinson revealed that he did much of the stunt driving for the film, including one particular sequence shot in Estonia, where he and John David Washington were in a BMW with an IMAX camera rigged to the hood. This meant that he could scarcely see anything through the windscreen and a slight turn would result in the rig hitting the road.
  • Though John David Washington (the Protagonist) is more athletic than your average actor (he once held his college's single-season rushing record and even took a shot at the NFL), filming was so relentless that he couldn't run for over a month after shooting some of the action scenes. He said: "There were some times I couldn't get up out of bed."
  • Had a production budget of USD $205 million, making it director Christopher Nolan's most expensive original film and one of the most expensive original films in history when it was first released. The film was not based on any previously existing material.
  • Contains only 280 visual effects shots, less than most modern romantic comedies. This is also low for director Christopher Nolan himself. The Dark Knight (2008) featured 650 VFX shots, The Dark Knight Rises (2012) had 450, Inception (2010) around 500, and Dunkirk (2017) contained only 429 visual effects shots.
  • Director Christopher Nolan is a huge fan of the James Bond films, and that love of the spy genre flows through this movie. That being said, Nolan actually tried his best not to watch any films that may overly influence him while working on Tenet - this was the longest the director had ever gone in his life without watching a Bond film. The reason for this is that he wanted to work from a memory and a feeling of that genre. He wasn't trying to do his own version of a James Bond movie, but was instead attempting to create the excitement that many people felt watching the Bond films when they were kids.
  • After being offered the lead role in the film, John David Washington read the screenplay in director Christopher Nolan's locked office at Warner Bros. studios. It took him around five hours to finish reading it because he kept flipping back and forth "in pure amazement."
  • Actor Kenneth Branagh revealed that he read the screenplay for the film more times than anything he had ever worked on. He compared navigating through the script to doing the 'Times' crossword puzzle every single day.
  • Robert Pattinson stated that he took inspiration for his character's accent, intonation, and mannerisms from English-American author and journalist [?] Christopher Hitchens. Pattinson never uses his real London accent when playing British characters, saying: "For whatever reason, it feels fake to me when I'm using my own accent for a role - if I just play myself on screen, I feel like a fraud."
  • In addition to performing stunts backwards, the main cast actually learned how to speak in reverse for their roles. Sir Kenneth Branagh not only learned how to speak backwards, but also had to do it with a Russian accent, as he is Northern Irish in real life.
  • There was much secrecy surrounding the project before its release. Actor Robert Pattinson said that he was only allowed to read the script in a locked office at Warner Bros. studios. His co-star Michael Caine wasn't even allowed to read the entire screenplay. He was given his scenes only to read before shooting. Prior to the movie's release, Caine told press that he had no idea what the film was about, despite being a very close friend and a frequent collaborator of director Christopher Nolan.
  • Shooting for the car chase sequence lasted three weeks and required the crew to close off eight kilometers (almost five miles) of a six-lane highway down the center of Tallinn. They then shot the cars moving both forward and in reverse.
  • When the coronavirus pandemic hit the United States in spring 2020, the film's score was roughly eighty-percent finished. The only thing it really affected was an orchestral session that was scheduled for April. As a result, part of the soundtrack was completed by putting together individual recordings of the musicians in their homes.
  • The word 'Tenet' presumably originated from the Sator Square - a word square containing a five-word Latin palindrome that dates back to the ruins of Pompeii. The puzzle is a five-by-five square made up of five 5-letter words written in five lines: SATOR, AREPO, TENET, OPERA, and ROTAS. In every direction the square is rotated, these five words appear both horizontally and vertically - a property that fits the time inversion feature of the film. It is also notable that all five words appear in the film: Kenneth Branagh's character is named Andrei SATOR, the forger responsible for the painting and Kat (Elizabeth Debicki)'s former lover was named Tomas AREPO, the term TENET is the name of the organization that the Protagonist is recruited into, OPERA refers to the location of the opening scene, and then ROTAS is the name of the security company.
  • The production team purchased and then crashed a real 747 airplane into a hangar. The stunt was all practical effects, with no visual effects or CGI. Director Christopher Nolan had originally planned to use miniatures and set-piece builds; however, while scouting for locations in Victorville, California, the team discovered a massive array of old planes and it became apparent that it would actually be more efficient to buy a real plane of the real size, and perform the sequence for real on camera.
  • During the climactic battle scene, the red team and blue team both have ten minutes to complete the final mission. TEN forward and TEN backward makes TENET.