Movie Reviews

Tenet (2020)

tenet-movie-review-poster-2020Director: Christopher Nolan

Genre: Action, Thriller

Runtime: 150 Minutes

Main Cast: John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Dimple Kapadia, Michael Caine, Kenneth Branagh, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Martin Donovan, Himesh Patel

Plot: (Okay, it’s now been 24 hours since I started this post and I still can’t sum up the plot coherently by myself. For the sake of having something to fill this section I’m copying and pasting from IMDB! I’m not usually so lazy, I promise)
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.

My Thoughts: I’m going to share more thoughts on Tenet when I’ve seen it again next week (can’t wait!) but I wanted to get my initial thoughts off my chest first. Firstly though, how amazing is it to be back in the cinema for a brand new, big-budget movie?! It’s the only new thing out right now other than The New Mutants which is having previes this weekend, so there are showing every 30 minutes and they all looked sold out to me. Well, as sold out as a cinema screen can be in 2020! I made every effort to not read any reviews before I saw it for myself, and although I promise this post will be as spoiler-free as I can keep it, I still urge you to go in as blind as possible.

What an experience Tenet was. There are elements that I’ve never seen in a movie before, and knowing that most, if not all of those special effects were done in real life (they literally crashed that plane into a building) just makes it all the more jaw-dropping. It’s 2 and a half hours long and throws you right into the action straight away, making it an exhausting watch. The cast is, well, simply stunning, pushing my current obsession aside. John David Washington is a perfect leading man. Elizabeth Debicki is wonderful as always but I can’t help but feel like she’s starting to be a bit typecast. Robert Pattinson is using his natural, British accent which always throws me, I keep forgetting he isn’t American!

We’re specifically told that Tenet isn’t time travel…but I can’t think of any other way to explain it. I ADORE time travel movies. There’s just something so fascinating about the concept, the paradoxes, the implications. Just going to bed afterwards and thinking about how it all works, but oh man, I got way more than I bargained for here. It’s simply impossible to just watch Tenet once and ‘get it’. I thought at one point I’d figured it out, and then it just went further and further. When the credits rolled everyone had that same reaction of ‘that was amazing…my brain hurts!’.

tenet-movie-bullet-inverted-john-washington

Best Bit: Forgive me if I’ve remembered the term wrong but I think it was a Temporal Pincer Maneuver. There’s two of them in the movie and I just can’t comprehend how complicated they are!

Worst Bit: Whoever was in charge of Robert Pattinson’s hair needs to be fired. But on a serious note, there were so many times when I actually couldn’t work out what any of the characters was saying. I was desperate for subtitles. From what I can gather though it’s not a problem unique to me, which leads me to wonder, is it a terrible editing mistake, or is it intended?

Fun Trivia: In addition to performing stunts backwards, the main cast actually learned how to speak in reverse for their roles. Kenneth Branagh not only had to learn to speak backwards, but also had to do it with a Russian accent (he is Irish in real life).

My Rating: 4 and a half packs of paracetamol, the exact amount I needed to take after spending all night trying to work out what I had just watched.

tenet-2020-movie-headache-paracetamol

Movie Reviews

Nocturnal Animals (2016)

nocturnal-animals-2016-movie-poster(I’m on vacation right now celebrating my 30th Birthday! To fill the void whilst I’m away I’m posting some old movie reviews that I wrote for the blog I had before I started Often Off Topic. I’ll be back in early September.)

I don’t remember ever going into the cinema as blind as I did last week for Nocturnal Animals. I’d heard a lot of buzz surrounding the name, I’d watched the trailer (once) which didn’t give much away at all, and I knew Jake Gyllenhaal was in it. That was enough for me, and I somehow convinced my husband to come along too. I don’t know how I did it, but I have a feeling it may have been something to do with the ever beautiful Amy Adams.

Before I go into an actual review, I have to share a funny moment with you. Tuesday and Wednesday showings have a silly amount of adverts before the movie, because of the wildly popular ‘Meerkat Movies’ 2-4-1 deal. This poor couple in front of us were already there when we arrived, sat through the whole slog of ads, the 5 trailers (although we were shown the Arrival trailer twice in a row, odd) and when the BBFC rating screen came on with ‘Nocturnal Animals’ emblazoned on the left-hand side, they realised they were in the wrong screen. I hope they didn’t miss too much of Doctor Strange, because that opening scene was awesome.

Anyway! Nocturnal Animals is a dark movie split into two narratives. First, we have Susan (Amy Adams), an art gallery owner living a seemingly-perfect life in her mansion of a house adorned with staff, and a husband who sadly, is hardly ever at home. One morning she receives a parcel from her ex-husband Edward (Jake Gyllenhaal), a manuscript for a book he’s written that he wants her thoughts on. The book turns out to be dedicated to Susan, but is a dark and twisted story, which haunts her.

Whenever Susan starts reading the book, we get to see it played out, by Jake Gyllenhaal himself and his book-wife (Isla Fisher). Their story isn’t for the faint-hearted, it’s a cruel and violent tale. Some scenes are particularly difficult to watch, and I get the feeling they were deliberately made as long as possible to make the audience uncomfortable. If that is the case, it definitely worked on me. I kept thinking to myself ‘Oh that won’t actually happen though, they wouldn’t show us that’ and then they did! I’m getting the shivers just thinking about it.

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So, whilst we see Edward’s story played out in snippets, we also go back to Susan often to learn more about her, and more importantly, what happened all those years ago between her and Edward. There’s a theme of revenge here for sure, and we know that Susan left him, but not why, or under what circumstances. It’s really well edited in these sections, the way something happens in the book that then takes us back to real life, and editing isn’t something that I normally take notice of.

Of course, I won’t give anything away, but I love an ambiguous ending. One that’s satisfying enough when taken at face value, but when you start to analyse every little detail, you begin to come up with different theories about certain elements.

I really loved this movie, but I will NOT forgive that jump scare. You can witness it for yourself, I’m not going to warn you, but it scared the crap out of the entire screen. Then I had to watch the next ten minutes from the corner of my eye in case something else happens. My poor nervous wreck of a husband now labels Nocturnal Animals as ‘that piece of sh*t movie that scared me’. He liked it of course, but he’s a bigger scaredy-cat than me!

So yes, a big seal of approval from me. Just…skip the opening credits if you can…trust me.