For all of us, 2020 has been one of the roughest years in recent history, and that goes double for moviegoers. With no new movies to see in cinemas, the film industry has been unusually stale thanks to the global pandemic. Enter Christopher Nolan and his latest movie, Tenet
In true Nolan fashion, not much is known about Tenet’s plot or characters, as the director is known for his surprising and complex plots. While we got a trailer last year and some new international posters in mid-August the specifics of Tenet remain a well-kept secret.
That said, Nolan has already been very vocal about the movie’s visuals and its dedication to use as many practical effects as possible. In an interview published on ICG Magazine’s August issue, Nolan said that the number of CGI effects in Tenet is probably lower than those present in modern romantic comedies.
These kinds of bold statements are the type that Nolan fans (and even his detractors) have come to expect from the director.
Torrents and pirated copies
Nolan has a lot to risk with Tenet: the film is his most expensive original work yet, in a year that hasn’t been precisely kind to Hollywood. After suffering numerous delays, the movie’s set to debut in the UK first, raising some concerns about the risk of piracy. We’re likely to see apirated Tenet torrent early.
It’s about time
While there isn’t a detailed synopsis of the film yet, we know that the film deals with some sort of time manipulation, not exactly time-traveling, but rather time inversion. Nolan himself refuses to dub Tenet a “time-travel film,” and refers to inversion as the idea of a material that has reversed its entropy; essentially, it's time flowing backward relative to us.
The main character is a man known only as the Protagonist (John David Washington), an agent of Tenet sent on a mission to stop a worldwide conflict. Washington won’t be alone on the screen, as he’s joined by Robert Pattinson and Australian actress Elizabeth Debicki.
Just like much of the movie, we know very little about their characters and how they influence the overall plot, but taking into consideration that Pattinson is set to play Batman in Warner Brother’s upcoming reboot, we can expect to see him in as many action-packed scenes as the script allows.
Creating the illusion of inversion
Time inversion plays a vital role in the plot of Tenet, and Nolan does his best to create an emblematic look for it in the film. Just like he did with 2010’s Inception, Nolan aims to create the inversion effect using practical effects, leaving CGI only as a last resort.
Jennifer Lame, Tenet’s editor, says that the film uses nearly 280 CGI shots, a far cry from the nearly 3,000 used in Avengers: Endgame. Earlier this year, Tenet made the news when it was revealed that the production blew up a real Boeing 747 for a scene, which already should give us a clear sense of what Nolan wishes to achieve visually with this movie.
Additionally, Nolan’s pride and joy are the inversion scenes, some of which have reportedly been achieved by shooting the same scenes twice: once forward and then once with the characters doing their actions backward. This no doubt will grant Tenet a unique look that’s sure to set it apart from the CGI-heavy summer blockbusters.
According to Where You Watch the stakes are higher than ever when it comes to releasing a costly film like Tenet, but we’re confident in Nolan’s skills as a practical filmmaker; after all, let’s not forget that it’s already been a decade since Inception, and film enthusiasts are still debating that film’s ending to this day. Let’s hope that Tenet generates such a profound impact when it finally releases.
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