The year 2020 came, and the year 2020 passed. A year of great sorrow, but also a year of great movies. Perhaps the greatest blockbuster in years hit the theaters despite the vast majority of theaters being closed.
Tenet, Christopher Nolan’s passion project, was hailed as a massive work of art. A spectacle to behold. And it truly was. With cars flipping in reverse, bullets that enter guns rather than leaving them, and confusing time travel, Tenet has something for everyone to enjoy.
There is just one issue: no one knows what the movie was really about. Even the best reviews admit that multiple viewings are necessary to even begin to understand Nolan’s masterpiece.
Remember the thrill of trying to understand the ending of Inception? Going to your friends and showing off your understanding of cinema as high art. Breaking down a Nolan film feels like giving a lecture on the work of Vincent van Gogh. We all love being the cinema snob of the group, but with Tenet even the best of us had issues finding cinema knowledge to make it clear how intelligent we are.
Somewhere along the way, we went one timeline too far and got lost. Tenet took the viewer so deep into multiple timelines that we were all surprised when Leonardo Dicaprio didn’t show up spinning his top. Even the marvel, Inception, did not leave the audience with as many questions as Tenet. Even the smartest YouTubers needed 4 white boards filled with maps of timelines, landscapes, and every step each character took in the two and a half hours forward and backwards. The smallest details were given the utmost importance on the white boards. Each glance was analyzed, each prop was looked into, and every word of the script was given its own unit of study. Some even watched the movie in reverse to see if it helped at all.
But for all those who do not possess the patience, willpower, or limitless supply of Excedrin to watch the movie five times with extensive notes, don’t worry. Christopher Nolan (the man who could solve a Rubix Cube in reverse) has announced that he will be releasing a decoder this year.
Rumors say that the decoder will look a lot like the word cryptex from The Da Vinci Code, with a manual so you can figure out the decoder so you can figure out the movie. The decoder will be able to tell you exactly which timeline you’re watching, who’s fighting who in a battle, and what subtle details make or break the film. For example: what year was the coin made from the 1:03:03 frame? It has to be connected to Neil.
The device is also multipurpose. It can decode any confusing film. Still don’t understand the ending to Inception? Put away the spinning top and bring out this bad boy; you’ll be back to lecturing your ignorant friends in T-minus 2.5 hours. And Nolan himself has stated that they’re already working on a version 2.0 that will decode texts for you. Do you feel like you left things with your significant other on good terms? Double check by decoding that “I’m fine” text!
So for all of those that did keep their notes of each of their viewings of the movie, get ready to finally crack the code. When your friends ask you why Tenet was your favorite film of the year, you’ll finally be able to give an answer more detailed than “it was just really cool” and “well, you’ll like the explosions: they’re inverted.” When they ask you what happened in the movie, they’ll know exactly what you mean when you say, “Everything that was supposed to happen did happen, and would always happen.”