As mentioned in one of the news posts, Tenet had a promising concept, that was difficult to follow, and I believe ultimately Christopher Nolan failed, but I admit I might feel different after I recently watched some YouTube videos that explain the timeline, and l'm getting ready to rewatch the movie to see if that helps me like it better. I feel I was working too hard to understand it on the first watch.
It kills me because I loved Interstellar (eventually), but I think there were mistakes in that movie as well that made it hard to follow on a first viewing. It still has it's flaws, but I'm willing to forgive them now. Not sure I can do that with Tenet.
In particular, what confuses me, is the death of the antagonist at the end of the movie, which in the timeline took place before many of the events in the rest of the movie. Yes killing him changed the future (the classic grandfather's paradox and that's not fully explained in the movie) but my issue isn't with the fact that his wife went back and killed him. It's that, if I understand correctly, if she had not gone back and killed him, he was going to kill himself anyway in order to trigger the 'algorithm'. But if that was the original timeline, then how did everything else happen earlier in the movie, which took place later in the timeline? That's the crux of my problem with the movie. It makes no sense.
The movie in many ways reminds me of Primer, which had an excellent plot, and a similar time reversal idea (I wonder if it influenced Nolan?). The only problem with Primer is that it was filmed with a $7000 budget (yes 7k), and it shows. At times it's a little hard to follow because of the college level production values, single takes, and sometimes poor audio, but it's still a great hard science time travel movie. I was rather hoping Tenet would be Primer with a budget.
Also reminded of Coherence, another low budget movie ($50k) that was much more effective at getting it's convoluted ideas across, than Tenet.
- "Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds." - Albert Einstein