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Director Christopher Nolan has always been notorious for not telling his stories in a linear fashion, but it to crazy levels of confusing with the release of his latest film Tenet. While a lot of people have been talking about how Tenet is Nolan’s weakest entry, Nolan opens up about what he thinks of the people who can’t seem to enjoy his films.
In an interview with The Washington Post, Nolan explains:
“What I find is people who just watch the movies to be entertained and have a good time, they get the movies and they understand the movies far better than people who fight the movies, who feel they’re in some kind of chess match with the movie while they’re watching it. And the reality is, the reason people get frustrated like that is that it’s not a level playing field. I’ve had 20 years to think about these ideas. So it’s not a level playing field in that sense. It’s not meant to be a chess match between filmmaker and audience. It’s entertainment. It’s a ride you go on and, if done right, there will be aspects to it that will reward a second viewing. When you’re dealing with time and when you’re dealing with these sorts of complexities, you have to be making a film that the second time you watch it would be a different film.”
Admittedly, Tenet is very hard to follow on the first viewing, but if you do try to view the film in broad strokes, you can clearly see that Nolan was challenging himself to make a movie that was a palindrome—the same backwards and forwards—complete with scenes which featured characters moving forward and backward in time at the same time.
Watching the film, you can feel that Nolan wasn’t too interested in the exposition scenes, that’s why the audio is so low compared to the rest of the film which was full of blaring explosions and music. Some are taking the explanation of inversion as Nolan’s meta comment to the audience, “Don’t try to understand it. Feel it.”
Either way, there are some Youtube videos that explain the entire thing in detail, and this makes for better experience when you rewatch it:
If you haven’t checked it out yet, Tenet is now available for home video.