[SPOILER] Discussion/Speculation Thread

An original action espionage film releasing in IMAX on August 12, 2020
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Vader182 wrote:
September 14th, 2020, 9:54 pm
Well... remember there's no reason he'd have to do several years in a row. He could do several week (or month) long stretches before going through a turnstyle and getting more supplies, seeing what's what in the world, and inverting again until the point he recruits everyone like Priya, Neil, etc.

-Vader
Good point. I hadn't thought of that.
Recruiting Neil specifically to die is still kind of odd though. :crazy:
Last edited by marshallmurphy on September 14th, 2020, 9:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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marshallmurphy wrote:
September 14th, 2020, 9:53 pm
Vader182 wrote:
September 14th, 2020, 9:46 pm
marshallmurphy wrote:
September 14th, 2020, 9:35 pm
I'm sure this has been discussed before, but since my second viewing I have been very confused about one thing.
At the end of the movie, Neil says that they have a future in the past. Does this mean that after the events of the film the Protagonist will get into another turnstile and live in the inverse world for however many years, until he gets into another turnstile and un-inverts. He will then be living blank number of years in the past and will meet Neil. He will then recruit younger Neil, knowing that he will eventually give his life for him [the Protagonist] and the mission.
Am I understanding this correctly? I'm so confused and have been thinking about this since Saturday.
My reading is this:
The Protagonist stays in the present for a while (months? years?) and creates Tenet to get all information and resources he needs to carry out the events of his past self (AKA, the events of the movie that save the world), before inverting back several years and recruits Neil / most other members of Tenet from that time. I don't think Priya ever inverted from the future, for example. I think most of "Tenet" was actually created in the past.

-Vader
Okay, that makes more sense. @MuffinMcFluffin confused me even more there for a minute! Lol. :lol:
It seems weird to me that the Protagonist has to live in inverted time for several years (that would be pretty boring, right, since he probably can't do much or interact with people unless others inverted with him)? Also seems strange that he will recruit Neil knowing that they will become close friends and that Neil will eventually die for him and the mission. Almost feels like he's cheating him or tricking him, though I guess the fate of humanity is more important?
Sorry, I don't know how to mention "in the past" without people thinking chronological timeline.

However, yes... either JDW recruits a future "Max" let's call it (somebody younger who grows older into Neil), or JDW goes way back in time, or both. I don't know where old JDW is during that time or if he kills himself or something, but I need to find a way to call "a long time ago" to also possibly be like the year 2030 if we're talking time elapsing, age-wise, for some characters.
Last edited by MuffinMcFluffin on September 14th, 2020, 10:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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put that in spoiler tags ASAP


-Vader

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MuffinMcFluffin wrote:
September 14th, 2020, 9:57 pm
Sorry, I don't know how to mention "in the past" without people thinking chronological timeline.

However, yes... either JDW recruits a future "Max" let's call it (somebody younger who grows older into Neil), or JDW goes way back in time, or both. I don't know where old JDW is during that time or if he kills himself or something, but I need to find a way to call "a long time ago" to also possibly be like the year 2030 if we're talking time elapsing, age-wise, for some characters.
So if we go with the Max becomes Neil theory, then the Protagonist would not need to go into a turnstile and travel into the past, because Max would grow into Neil and then the Protagonist would recruit him? Why is this the hardest part of the movie for me to grasp.

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marshallmurphy wrote:
September 14th, 2020, 9:53 pm
Vader182 wrote:
September 14th, 2020, 9:46 pm
marshallmurphy wrote:
September 14th, 2020, 9:35 pm
I'm sure this has been discussed before, but since my second viewing I have been very confused about one thing.
At the end of the movie, Neil says that they have a future in the past. Does this mean that after the events of the film the Protagonist will get into another turnstile and live in the inverse world for however many years, until he gets into another turnstile and un-inverts. He will then be living blank number of years in the past and will meet Neil. He will then recruit younger Neil, knowing that he will eventually give his life for him [the Protagonist] and the mission.
Am I understanding this correctly? I'm so confused and have been thinking about this since Saturday.
My reading is this:
The Protagonist stays in the present for a while (months? years?) and creates Tenet to get all information and resources he needs to carry out the events of his past self (AKA, the events of the movie that save the world), before inverting back several years and recruits Neil / most other members of Tenet from that time. I don't think Priya ever inverted from the future, for example. I think most of "Tenet" was actually created in the past.

-Vader
Okay, that makes more sense. @MuffinMcFluffin confused me even more there for a minute! Lol. :lol:

It seems weird to me that the Protagonist has to live in inverted time for several years (that would be pretty boring, right, since he probably can't do much or interact with people unless others inverted with him)? Also seems strange that he will recruit Neil knowing that they will become close friends and that Neil will eventually die for him and the mission. Almost feels like he's cheating him or tricking him, though I guess the fate of humanity is more important?
i mean there's still quite a lot of loose ends to 'close'. sator's entire army, Priya's turnstile and surely some of his closest workers know about the algorithm.
God knows whether Sator has more turnstiles.

The Protagonist could be busy fighting all kinds of inverted antagonist for years so it isn't that boring.

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dragon_phoenix wrote:
September 14th, 2020, 10:03 pm
i mean there's still quite a lot of loose ends to 'close'. sator's entire army, Priya's turnstile and surely some of his closest workers know about the algorithm.
God knows whether Sator has more turnstiles.

The Protagonist could be busy fighting all kinds of inverted antagonist for years so it isn't that boring.
I guess I met boring in the sense that if he has to travel back say one month to take care of something, then he has to basically sit around for a month while time goes backwards around him. It's not like exciting things would be happening every day, and if no one goes through the turnstile with him then he is basically left to just sit around with nobody to talk to until the next "thing to take care of" comes around.
I guess he could be like Romilly in Interstellar and just do some science stuff while he waits around.

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marshallmurphy wrote:
September 14th, 2020, 10:01 pm
MuffinMcFluffin wrote:
September 14th, 2020, 9:57 pm
Sorry, I don't know how to mention "in the past" without people thinking chronological timeline.

However, yes... either JDW recruits a future "Max" let's call it (somebody younger who grows older into Neil), or JDW goes way back in time, or both. I don't know where old JDW is during that time or if he kills himself or something, but I need to find a way to call "a long time ago" to also possibly be like the year 2030 if we're talking time elapsing, age-wise, for some characters.
So if we go with the Max becomes Neil theory, then the Protagonist would not need to go into a turnstile and travel into the past, because Max would grow into Neil and then the Protagonist would recruit him? Why is this the hardest part of the movie for me to grasp.
He wouldn't have to go with him, that was always my thought on the matter. But then as Vader posted I was trying to think: how was Tenet formed? I guess you could say Neil went ahead and formed Tenet on his behalf, but you'd think he would just take the credit for forming it haha.

Why? I guess Max grew a liking to him. Protag understands that the future has a way of contacting the past, and as Max has a keen interest in what he knows about that past, wants to avert any rehash of what happened before they cease to exist (as the future believes that that past can affect them, too). So Max studies Physics and learns Estonian, lol. As he goes in time through inversion, he starts to understand the palindromic nature of its physics and decides to take on the name Neil, and at some point philosophically decides that whatever happened must happen again, or else something will go haywire. Maybe Protag tells him these things as well since he once met a Neil that said all this ish.

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Personally, I am putting this theory to rest. I'm not saying you guys are wrong, but I've read everyone's opinion and I just don't find it useful to entertain it anymore! But of course, I'll listen to any replies.
This theory started based almost solely on the name of the character. Here are the problems I have:
1. Practically no one spells Maximillian as Maximilien. the -lien ending is French, and in French Max is mainly a feminine name (short for Maxine). Try and look up people named Maximilien! The only one I could really find is Robespierre. Even my computer wants to autocorrect Maximilien! I think this is a perfect example of confirmation bias - someone suggested this spelling of the name and everyone went with it because the last four letters backwards spell Neil.
2. This theory totally throws the potential name of Maxwell out the window. Like all the element's of Sator's square showing up as name's throughout the movie, I believe it is far more likely that Max, aka Maxwell, was just another easter egg name referring to Maxwell's Demon
3. In an interview, Nolan himself said "we think is name is Neil". If Nolan intended Max to be Neil, would he not name the character Neil very intentionally? ^that interview line to me suggests Neil can't be trusted to be his name because he's just another nameless figure in this world of espionage.
4. Neil does nothing to suggest, in any way shape or form, that Kat is his mother in his scenes with her. There are too many scenes to name, but one that comes to mind is that he acts almost in disappointment that inverted JDW wants to go back onto the highway to try and save her. Indifferent about her fate, even.
5. I've already shared my opinion on this, but I think it adds nothing to the story
6. I've already lost because I'm taking this fun fan theory way too seriously hahaha

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atwins wrote:
September 15th, 2020, 12:29 am
Personally, I am putting this theory to rest. I'm not saying you guys are wrong, but I've read everyone's opinion and I just don't find it useful to entertain it anymore! But of course, I'll listen to any replies.
This theory started based almost solely on the name of the character. Here are the problems I have:
1. Practically no one spells Maximillian as Maximilien. the -lien ending is French, and in French Max is mainly a feminine name (short for Maxine). Try and look up people named Maximilien! The only one I could really find is Robespierre. Even my computer wants to autocorrect Maximilien! I think this is a perfect example of confirmation bias - someone suggested this spelling of the name and everyone went with it because the last four letters backwards spell Neil.
2. This theory totally throws the potential name of Maxwell out the window. Like all the element's of Sator's square showing up as name's throughout the movie, I believe it is far more likely that Max, aka Maxwell, was just another easter egg name referring to Maxwell's Demon
3. In an interview, Nolan himself said "we think is name is Neil". If Nolan intended Max to be Neil, would he not name the character Neil very intentionally? ^that interview line to me suggests Neil can't be trusted to be his name because he's just another nameless figure in this world of espionage.
4. Neil does nothing to suggest, in any way shape or form, that Kat is his mother in his scenes with her. There are too many scenes to name, but one that comes to mind is that he acts almost in disappointment that inverted JDW wants to go back onto the highway to try and save her. Indifferent about her fate, even.
5. I've already shared my opinion on this, but I think it adds nothing to the story
6. I've already lost because I'm taking this fun fan theory way too seriously hahaha
I think it started based on the hair and the accent, personally.

I questioned the name portion as well earlier, but I'd like to think Nolan thought hard about a nickname that when spelled out could be used backwards, and it's just way too strange that this "coincidence" occurred. What, is Dr. Mann not named that because "Man is evil" and Mal not literally the French for "wrong" or Latin for "bad" or what have you? Haha. I can't think of another name that wouldn't be an obvious giveaway for that palindromic nature, yet he happened to land on one that does the absolute best that it can. Seriously, those odds are one out of a zillion. So it also happens to fit with Maxwell's Demon, perfect! Nolan really struck well with the name, then.

Actually regarding the name thing, the other day I was starting to think of all of the character's names and was thinking that Nolan was intentionally choosing first initials in the middle of the alphabet, lol. Protagonist, Neil, Kat, Max, Priya, Sator, Ives... this fell apart really quickly, but I thought I was connecting that he had strung together names in the middle of the alphabet for a while, haha.

Anyway, kind of like I said in another post, he probably didn't give this off in the script or tell Pattinson about it. Maybe this was just Easter eggs laid in his own mind. So I ask... why did he leave it to himself? It's just too bad that he did.

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marshallmurphy wrote:
September 14th, 2020, 10:07 pm
dragon_phoenix wrote:
September 14th, 2020, 10:03 pm
i mean there's still quite a lot of loose ends to 'close'. sator's entire army, Priya's turnstile and surely some of his closest workers know about the algorithm.
God knows whether Sator has more turnstiles.

The Protagonist could be busy fighting all kinds of inverted antagonist for years so it isn't that boring.
I guess I met boring in the sense that if he has to travel back say one month to take care of something, then he has to basically sit around for a month while time goes backwards around him. It's not like exciting things would be happening every day, and if no one goes through the turnstile with him then he is basically left to just sit around with nobody to talk to until the next "thing to take care of" comes around.
I guess he could be like Romilly in Interstellar and just do some science stuff while he waits around.
lol i don't think he is a theoretical physicist though. he's probably continuing to orchestrate the entire pincer movement that is the whole movie

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