Tenet is a science-fiction thriller movie written and directed by Christopher Nolan. The plot follows a secret agent who must manipulate time in order to prevent World War III. But, as its a Nolan special, the plot is not as easy as it seems. Read on as we breakdown the story by answering some obvious questions which will help you understand its ending better. Major Spoilers Ahead.
Tenet is a time-bending spy movie that is full of twists and turns. The story is quite confusing escalating between the past and the future with strange concepts. ‘Tenet’ is basically an organization that hires the Protagonist, played by David Washington. He is accompanied by Neil, played by Robert Pattinson on his mission to avoid a catastrophe. Also, the character Sator, played by Kenneth Branagh is important as he is involved in a dark plot involving people from the future to get hold of The Algorithm.
What is the Algorithm?
The Algorithm is the bits of nuclear weapon the Protagonist is discovering and losing through the course of the film. There are nine pieces of The Algorithm, a weapon scattered through time and space. Whoever manages to collect it, can invert the entropy of the entire world, which is reversing the flow of time globally.
Sator’s true intentions
In the movie Tenet, Sator is working in coordination with some agencies from the future. He wishes to sett of an Algorithm, that will reverse the entropy of the Earth. Actually, he is destined to die of pancreatic cancer and thus, believes everyone else should also die with him. He travels back to holiday with Kat( Elizabeth Debicki) in Vietnam. He plans to die on his happiest day there and set off the doomsday device with a dead man’s switch linked to his heartbeat.
Tenet organization works against Sator
The organization’s motive is to find and snatch the Algorithm before it could be dropped into the pit. To accomplish this, they send two armies, a backward traveling one, and a forward traveling one. Before Sator dies they need to break Algorithm into pieces and hide it again. To stop Sator from going back even further to stop them from stopping him, they have to do this right before Sator dies.
How can Sator die if we see him alive in the future?
Sator has a fatal illness(cancer) and knows he will die, and so decides to also kill everyone else at the same time. Having alienated and then murdered his wife, and having access to a time machine, Sator decides that the moment he would like to die is the last time he and his wife were happy.
According to him, during that holiday in Vietnam, they both were happy in love. He made an offer to set her free in exchange for never seeing her son again, she got angry and he left. So for his last moments on Earth, he travels back to that holiday, returns to his wife to kiss and make up, and then he will die in her loving embrace.
From Kat’s perspective, she and her son left for the island after Sator made that offer. When she came back she saw a mysterious woman dive off their boat (who she assumed was Sator’s mistress). Later, after Sator shot her, she healed, also traveled back in time to that holiday, pretends to be the Kat from that time, then kills him and dives into the water so her past self can see her.
Who recruited Neil for Tenet?
This was one of the mysterious questions during the plot. The protagonist asks Neil who recruited him. The fans of the time travel movie are capable of answering it as ‘You in the future did!’. At the beginning during the airport heist, we see Neil unmask the Protagonist and assume this incident to be Neil’s recruitment. But at the end of the movie, it is revealed that the soldier who died during the film’s climax saving the Protagonist was Neil. Also, Neil rescued him during the Opera House fight scene, which points out he was already recruited a long time before.
Who runs the Tenet organization?
The ultimate question and trivia among the audience are this. The protagonist travels to London to save Kat from the arms dealer Priya (Dimple Kapadia). It is anticipated that the Protagonist goes further into the past and recruits Neil. He also goes back and founds the entire Tenet organization in the past. He plans its operations, recruits the team members, and also himself.