Few directors like to play with the concept of time as much as Christopher Nolan. His last film, DUNKIRK, told the tale of a famous battle from three different perspectives, all related to time. One of his earliest films, MEMENTO, was almost played in reverse, due to an unreliable main character (Guy Pearce) cursed with short-term memory. And we’re still trying to deduce everything that happens in INCEPTION.
The director appears to be at it again with his latest thriller TENET, which reaches theatres on July 17, 2020. As is typical of most Christopher Nolan movies, the plot is being heavily guarded, though we have been able to deduce a few keys from the movie’s first trailer.
John David Washington (Spike Lee’s BLACKKKLANSMAN) appears to be playing the lead role. He’s an investigator of sorts (detective? military officer?) who is administered a test. Give up the names of the people he works for, or die. He refuses… but doesn’t die, and instead is recruited into a top secret organization called The Afterlife.
What do they do? We don’t know! It’s top secret! We’re told that they are trying to race the clock to prevent World War III. When John David Washington’s character guesses nuclear holocaust, he’s told it’s actually much worse than that. He does appear to team up with Robert Pattinson at some point on this mission, and he also displays a knowledge of some truly bizarre manipulations of time.
We see it when a car topples over in the middle of a chase. Only, before our very own eyes, it reverses the devastating spin, sheds the bangs and damage obtained in the crash, and turns back into a normal car, resuming its course.
It’s freaky, but also very, very cool.
This is what we have come to expect from Christopher Nolan, who challenges audiences with his irregular narratives, keeping us on our toes instead of lazily following along at a traditionally linear pace.
But the best part about the TENET trailer is that it reveals all of this without actually giving away anything of significance regarding the central plot. We see key Nolan collaborators, from the brilliant Michael Caine to Kenneth Branagh (of DUNKIRK fame). But we’re still ready to head to the theatres and be surprised by what Nolan has in store for us when TENET opens in July.
This is one of our most anticipated films for 2020. What are some of yours?