Tenet The most superfluous scene is also the most beautiful

“Tenet”: The most superfluous scene is also the most beautiful

There are many outstanding sequences in “Tenet”, but editor Björn Becher was particularly impressed by one moment that could actually have been deleted from Christopher Nolan’s crashing action blockbuster …

opinion

opinion

Again and again it gets loud in “Tenet”, very loud. The cinemas are instructed to get a lot out of their sound systems for a blockbuster that is made for the big screen and overwhelms with images and sounds. But between all the bombast there is a quiet, quiet moment with which the often so cool-looking Christopher Nolan simply thanks a companion.

But between all the bombast there is a quiet, quiet moment with which the often so cool-looking Christopher Nolan simply thanks a companion.

The protagonist played by John David Washington has just gathered more information in Mumbai when he visits Sir Michael Crosby (Michael Caine). The clues that he and the viewer receive in this short sequence in a British gentlemen’s club are indeed relevant for the rest of the story (a short info is extremely important even in the finale), but actually do not justify the prominent guest star appearance. It would even have been a lot easier to put this information elsewhere in the film FMOVIES.

Strictly speaking, the scene is superfluous, especially in its length. I think that is deliberately so, because I am convinced that, despite the many things that Crosby tells the protagonist, this scene is primarily not about conveying information. But before I go into more detail, we have to first look at the actor in this scene.

Michael Caine: Nolan’s explanation

It is certainly no coincidence that Sir Michael Crosby is played by Christopher Nolan’s most loyal actor. Since “Batman Begins” Michael Caine has always been part of the cast whenever Nolan made a new film – and actually always with the same role:

Caine was responsible for conveying information, he was supposed to explain things to the audience and did this regularly (only on “Dunkirk” he was replaced by Kenneth Branagh and only got an audio cameo, because Caine was too old for an active naval officer) is).

Caine was in charge of conveying information, explaining things to the audience

I see Caine’s explanatory role in many Nolan films rather critically because his appearances are mostly the scenes in which Nolan does not find the images to show us something (while a Steven Spielberg often simply solves it in a much more cinematic way), but rather needs banal words. But Michael Caine has long been a part of a Nolan film.

I see Caine’s explanatory role in many Nolan films rather critically
Nevertheless, Michael Caine has long been an integral part of a Nolan film.

Thank you Sir Michael

And so when he appeared in “Tenet”, I immediately felt a very familiar feeling – not unimportant for a film that is very much about trusting the filmmaker, simply following him in his own time construct. But the scene only becomes really beautiful for me because it is such a nice break with Nolan’s usual gestures, with his way of filmmaking and with his commitment to Michael Caine.

Because, as I already wrote at the beginning, despite the many messages in the dialogues about a forgery and the origin of the antagonist – for me the communication of information is not in the foreground. Caine just seems to be there for a few minutes with a short chat, because he belongs to Nolan – at least so far. Because the moment seems like a farewell, a small memorial to the loyal companion.

Caine just seems to be there for a few minutes with a short chat, because he belongs to Nolan

“Tenet”: the end explained

“Goodbye Sir Michael” is even said right at the end of that sequence. And for me it is not the protagonist saying goodbye to the character Sir Michael Crosby, but rather a thank you from Christopher Nolan to his actor, who was knighted in 2000 and is therefore also “Sir Michael”. After all, the similarity of names in a film in which the names have meanings is definitely no coincidence.

For me it is not the protagonist’s farewell to the character Sir Michael Crosby, but rather a thank you from Christopher Nolan to his actor

That touched me, even if it made me feel a little sad. Because it feels like a final goodbye. And it may be.

That touched me, even if it made me feel a little sad.

Because even if the currently 87-year-old Caine is still in front of the camera, he is slowly stepping down and may not be there when Nolan brings out his next film in three to four years. Then maybe some people will remember this scene and think: “How wonderful it was when Nolan interrupted his film to simply say goodbye to his most loyal star!”

“Tenet” has been in German cinemas since August 26, 2020.

“Tenet” has been in German cinemas since August 26, 2020.
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