Tenet, Christopher Nolan’s time travel film

1/1 · Por HBO

Find out what's behind Christopher Nolan's parallel reality. A film with a nod to quantum physics.

Tenet, Christopher Nolan’s time travel film

When we watch a Christopher Nolan film the plot can be difficult to explain or understand, indeed, it's not the first time the British director has played with quantum physics or alternate realities.

HBO Caribbean will briefly explain what Tenet is about in order to help you follow the film, which, in our opinion, is the perfect mix between Inception, Memento and Interstellar.

If you haven't watched the movie yet, don't worry, there won't be spoilers in this article. We'll just tell you some interesting facts so that you can follow the plot with ease and enjoy the movie from your first viewing.

A truly immersive script that calls for a race against time, in which a secret agent known as the Protagonist, played by actor John David Washington, is recruited by a mysterious organization to help prevent a global war in the future.

With the help of a mysterious contractor, played by Robert Pattinson, they begin to investigate future anomalies in the present with the purpose of defeating an evil enemy, the Russian Andrei Sator, played by Kenneth Branagh.

What does TENET mean?

Our first mystery is the title of the film. It was not chosen by chance and has been in the enigmatic director's mind for a long time.

Tenet is at the centre of the Sator square, an archaeological site discovered in 1925 in the ruins of Pompeii. This square is made up of five Latin words: ROTAS, OPERA, TENET, AREPO and SATOR, which will serve as guides throughout the film. The words in the Sator square can be read from left to right, top to bottom, and even inverted. A palindrome, therefore, multiple.

A plot that defies the laws of time

At what time are the characters in each moment? If you asked yourself this same question while watching the movie, don't worry. Nolan's recent masterpiece is particularly complicated in terms of our perception of space, time and matter.

The thematic and visual key of the script is temporal immersion. This means that time can go back, but it can also go forward. In the trailer we can see Laura, a scientist played by Clémence Poésy, showing two revolver bullets on the table and telling the Protagonist that one bullet travels forward in time and the other backwards. She then reaches across the table and one of the bullets “falls” upwards, as if it were going back in time, going back to before the fall. But what happens when something that has gone backwards is in the same space as something that has gone forward?

In Tenet's universe, time is inverted and so it will be with the law of cause and effect which states that every action brings a reaction, a consequence or a result. Therefore, the film shows first the effects and then the causes.

As Christopher Nolan himself stated in the press notes released by Warner Bros: "Every law of physics is symmetrical—it can run forwards or backwards in time and be the same—except for entropy."

“Don't try to understand this. Feel it!"

The film raises many questions and an even more possible answers for each one of them. Laura (Clémence Poésy) tells the Protagonist (John David Washington) “Don't try to understand it. Feel it!" while she explains the complexity of alternate realities.

Considering Christopher Nolan's reputation for "making movies that are a bit tricky to understand at first glance," Laura's advice might be the director's way of asking viewers to just enjoy the story with all its components. Christopher Nolan brings us a movie with complexities and details about quantum physics, extraordinary special effects, breath-taking scenes, fantastic performances from the cast, and, as always, it won't leave you feeling indifferent.

Don't miss Tenet, the latest Christopher Nolan film on HBO.

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