[SPOILER] Discussion/Speculation Thread

An original action espionage film releasing in IMAX on August 12, 2020
User avatar
Posts: 246
Joined: October 2014
Location: Budapest, Hungary
I guess it has been discussed, but the darkest spot for me is...
...the algorithm box in Tallinn. First I thought they only need the "code" or something, but they said it's basically a black box, and is visible during the end of the battle. Sator sees that the box was thrown into the Saab, but I don't think he got it before the explosion, because that way, there would be a paradox, as the box's place was changed, so it would not have been in the truck. So my guess is Sator sees the hand-off, and his "normal" men get the box out from the Saab in the future, after Protagonist gets out (in reverse), and they "duplicate" it by walking into a turnstile with it.

User avatar
Posts: 506
Joined: September 2019
I've only watched the film once and have some basic questions if anyone can answer them that'd be great:
1. Can someone explain the hypothermia explosion? How does that work?
2. Does the Protagonist create TENET in the future or the past?
3. How does a temporal pincer work and what is the point of it?
4. How much of the opera scene was a test? The Protagonist's colleagues died because of it.
5. Is "We live in a twilight world" some sort of code between special agents or something?
6. What are they trying to stop? A bomb that goes forward and backward through time?
7. Can someone explain the entering the turnstile thing? As you enter the turnstile, what would you see on the other side? I remember reading that if you don't see yourself on the other side it means you died but I don't understand how.
Sorry if these are dumb questions. Like I said I've only seen the film once.

User avatar
Posts: 506
Joined: September 2019
lcbaseball22 wrote:
September 7th, 2020, 6:22 am
Wow, I'm guessing I'm late to the game on this but after seeing this mentioned in the "most helpful" IMDB review (see excerpt below, it's pretty interesting) I went searching for meaning and this is so cool! https://www.gamesradar.com/tenet-movie- ... her-nolan/
Disappointing at first watch, Masterpiece at second
shashthezarch26 August 2020
HEAVY MOVIE HINTS IN THE LAST PARAGRAPH. FOR THOSE WHO DIDN'T GET IT Its one hell of a complicated film. It will be very hard for an average viewer to gather all the information provided by this movie at the first watch. But the more you watch it, more hidden elements will come to light. And when you are able to put these hidden elements together. You will realize that this movie is just a "masterpiece" which takes the legacy of Christopher Nolan Forward

My humble request to everyone is to please let the movie sink in your thoughts. Let your mind grasp all the elements of this movie. I am sure more people will find it better. Even those who think they got the plot. I can bet they are wrong. Here is a little hint on how they can start to explore the film "SATOR - AREPO - TENET - OPERA - ROTAS" Its a latin palindrome. I got many answers, I hope others get it too.
I've seen the film but how does the Sator square help us understand the film?

Posts: 12
Joined: August 2020
speedy117 wrote:
September 7th, 2020, 10:19 am
I've only watched the film once and have some basic questions if anyone can answer them that'd be great:
1. Can someone explain the hypothermia explosion? How does that work?
2. Does the Protagonist create TENET in the future or the past?
3. How does a temporal pincer work and what is the point of it?
4. How much of the opera scene was a test? The Protagonist's colleagues died because of it.
5. Is "We live in a twilight world" some sort of code between special agents or something?
6. What are they trying to stop? A bomb that goes forward and backward through time?
7. Can someone explain the entering the turnstile thing? As you enter the turnstile, what would you see on the other side? I remember reading that if you don't see yourself on the other side it means you died but I don't understand how.
Sorry if these are dumb questions. Like I said I've only seen the film once.
1.hypothermia is state where your body looses heat faster than it can produce heat as Blast produced heat but as JDW was inverted he catched it like cold
2.Future
3.Temporal pincer is like pincer but for time. You make two teams. One inverted other normal. Normal teams starts the battle progresses towards end. Inverted team start from end of battle progresses towards start. They exchange information between them to have upperhand at enemy. Sort of communicating with the future
4.Whole, his colleagues died bcoz they either gave names or info I guess
5.yes like tenet and hand gesture
6.It’s not literally bomb but more destructive than that. It’s an algorithm which can reverse the direction of universe causing apocalypse for us so future generations can live on earth with natural resources.
7.Turnstile simply inverts the entropy of a person or object i.e. direction of time is changed for person entering. So when entering turnstile to invert yourself or uninvert yourself, you will always see yourself on other side because time just changed direction so when you are entering to invert you will see yourself on other side travelling backwards also when you are entering to uninvert you will still see yourself on other side travelling backwards. So If you are dead you won’t see yourself on other side is totally wrong and unthoughtful.
I tried my best to answer please let me know if it worked for you or not

User avatar
Posts: 946
Joined: July 2012
speedy117 wrote:
September 7th, 2020, 10:20 am
lcbaseball22 wrote:
September 7th, 2020, 6:22 am
Wow, I'm guessing I'm late to the game on this but after seeing this mentioned in the "most helpful" IMDB review (see excerpt below, it's pretty interesting) I went searching for meaning and this is so cool! https://www.gamesradar.com/tenet-movie- ... her-nolan/
Disappointing at first watch, Masterpiece at second
shashthezarch26 August 2020
HEAVY MOVIE HINTS IN THE LAST PARAGRAPH. FOR THOSE WHO DIDN'T GET IT Its one hell of a complicated film. It will be very hard for an average viewer to gather all the information provided by this movie at the first watch. But the more you watch it, more hidden elements will come to light. And when you are able to put these hidden elements together. You will realize that this movie is just a "masterpiece" which takes the legacy of Christopher Nolan Forward

My humble request to everyone is to please let the movie sink in your thoughts. Let your mind grasp all the elements of this movie. I am sure more people will find it better. Even those who think they got the plot. I can bet they are wrong. Here is a little hint on how they can start to explore the film "SATOR - AREPO - TENET - OPERA - ROTAS" Its a latin palindrome. I got many answers, I hope others get it too.
I've seen the film but how does the Sator square help us understand the film?
It doesn't I suppose; just a cool easter egg I guess that shows how much thought Nolan put into this and where he might have got inspiration from.

Posts: 46
Joined: December 2019
I tried to go back and read everything so I'm not repeating questions but forgive me if I'm re-asking something that has been answered.
1. I've seen a lot of discussion about a scene where Neil does not see himself exit the turnstile, because he is going to die but he enters anyway. I read all of your thoughts before my second viewing so I paid specific attention to this scene.

In my opinion, this logic is flawed for two reasons: First, that is not how a proving window works. Ives specifically says do not enter if you do not see yourself reverse-entering on the other side, because that means You will not be able to get out of the turnstile. It does not mean you end up dying.

Second and more obvious is that we never get a shot of Neil entering the turnstile, only leaving it. Behind him, his past self is reverse-exiting the turnstile. So Neil would have scene himself reverse-entering the turnstile.

2. My main question is about the algorithm at the end. If they are burying it in the hypocenter, why is that 'doomsday'? For example, couldn't they just dig it out? I don't understand why the bald-henchmen doesn't just activate the algorithm. Why do they need to bury it and then activate it?

3. I don't much care for the theory of Neil being Max, as it doesn't really add much to the story for me, but one thing I thought of is why would Tenet not travel further back in time and just kill Sator. I guess maybe because the future could just find someone else, but also maybe because of the grandfather paradox: if sator never conceives max with kat, then neil never lives.

4. Bonus, sorry this is getting long: When Ives explains a time pincer, he says one team goes forward, and the other team goes backward, "knowing everything". But in the time pincer at the end, run by Tenet, the team going forward technically knows more information because it was given to them by the blue team. *confusion*.

User avatar
Posts: 246
Joined: October 2014
Location: Budapest, Hungary
speedy117 wrote:
September 7th, 2020, 10:19 am
I've only watched the film once and have some basic questions if anyone can answer them that'd be great:
1. Can someone explain the hypothermia explosion? How does that work?
2. Does the Protagonist create TENET in the future or the past?
3. How does a temporal pincer work and what is the point of it?
4. How much of the opera scene was a test? The Protagonist's colleagues died because of it.
5. Is "We live in a twilight world" some sort of code between special agents or something?
6. What are they trying to stop? A bomb that goes forward and backward through time?
7. Can someone explain the entering the turnstile thing? As you enter the turnstile, what would you see on the other side? I remember reading that if you don't see yourself on the other side it means you died but I don't understand how.
Sorry if these are dumb questions. Like I said I've only seen the film once.
Let's see...
First of all, I don't think there are specific answers for many of these questions, because we don't see the past (or future) of Tenet. Here are my thoughts:
1. No. Ask Kip Thorne. :D
2. He creates it in his own, subjective future, if he's really the one who creates it. I watched it several times, and he is The Protagonist, yes, but I can't remember him saying he is the founder. He is the boss, but he doesn't need to be the first boss.
3. You can gain information from the future and you can go backwards to use it. I can't find a good, simple example, but in the battle: the blue team sees the outcome of the battle, they can see where the explosions took place because of the red team, so they gain info from them. And red team gains information from the blue team about the future.
4. We can't be sure, but a future Protagonist in the past knew everything about the siege, so he gave order to Neil and Donovan's character to save him. It is said it was a test, but he always passed it, so now I think it wasn't a test at all, that's something Victor (are we sure, it is his name?) was told.
5. Yes, definitely.
6. The bomb we see isn't the inversion-bomb, it's just a regular bomb that buries the algorithm for hundreds of years. The watch on Sator's arm sends the coordinates to somewhere at the moment he dies.
7. I don't think you die, seeing yourself on the other side is just a visual confirmation that the machine works properly. If you enter, for the world you seem to disappear, because you leave to the past. If you enter as inverted, the world sees you appear both sides, because you came from the future, and only present and past can be seen.

User avatar
Posts: 20086
Joined: June 2010
Location: The White City
so
the modernist lego algorithm is...doing what exactly? Those black boxes aren't the actual "time bomb," since Sator is trying to bury the "time bomb" so people in the future will go dig it up decades from the events of Tenet? And his "dead man's trigger" is to use regular explosive to bury those pieces? Or are algorithm lego already the "Time bomb" made and sent back into the past, so that's what will wipe everything clean?

And if the answer is the former, and it's "just" the algorithm, what does "activate the algorithm" actually mean, and why are they in these weird, again, modernist lego boxes.
i've talked to loads of people about this, including people who've seen it multiple times, and nobody has the exact same understanding. it's still unclear to me. IMO, the fact the stakes are so god damn hazy is half of Tenet's problem for why it loses people in the third act. That whole action sequence is visually spectacular but narratively obtuse.


-Vader

User avatar
Posts: 3125
Joined: January 2015
Location: Poland
Vader182 wrote:
September 7th, 2020, 3:48 pm
so
the modernist lego algorithm is...doing what exactly? Those black boxes aren't the actual "time bomb," since Sator is trying to bury the "time bomb" so people in the future will go dig it up decades from the events of Tenet? And his "dead man's trigger" is to use regular explosive to bury those pieces? Or are algorithm lego already the "Time bomb" made and sent back into the past, so that's what will wipe everything clean?

And if the answer is the former, and it's "just" the algorithm, what does "activate the algorithm" actually mean, and why are they in these weird, again, modernist lego boxes.
i've talked to loads of people about this, including people who've seen it multiple times, and nobody has the exact same understanding. it's still unclear to me. IMO, the fact the stakes are so god damn hazy is half of Tenet's problem for why it loses people in the third act. That whole action sequence is visually spectacular but narratively obtuse.


-Vader
I thought it was pretty clear in the film
The algorithm is a device that has the ability to reverse the entropy of fhe universe. Once the algorithm does its job, time will start to flow backwards. As such, the past would be erased but all life on earth would die as well. Why the detonatio? To trigger the device and to bury it, presumably hiding it from anyone who would have the means to survive in the inverted world (like our protagonists) and switch off the device.

User avatar
Posts: 20086
Joined: June 2010
Location: The White City
Thanks for the response. That's what my primary assumption was, but this gets muddled with:
1.) In the conversation with Poésy, doesn't she talk about how it's a bomb from the future that can move through time to our present? The Protagonist then says "they can do that?" and it set up this expectation it's an algorithm in the future that can destroy the past. Am I misremembering? I thought that was the whole deal.

2.) The physical bomb that's actually counting down is confusing since the explanation that it's to "protect" the bomb from Tenet isn't clear.

3.) Assuming you're right that the black lego boxes are the "time bomb" that reverse time, Nolan never, ever should have named this thing an "algorithm" and have sentences like "activate the algorithm." We need something clear and intuitive, like "TIME BOMB" or whatever, especially when a movie is this fast and chaotic and this poor a sound mix.

-Vader

Post Reply