Interesting Observations in the Movie TENET

Did you see the movie TENET? It’s a science-fiction movie directed by Christopher Nolan that opened in theatres in mid-August of 2020. This movie is very fast-paced and jumps back and forth between the past, the present, and the future, so it’s very confusing to follow. I noticed three interesting details from the movie that I’m wondering if you caught, too; I’m sure there must be at least one you didn’t notice.

1.The photo above is from a scene in the movie. I was very confused when I watched that part for the first time because I couldn’t recognize how many teams there were and which teams were which. However, after watching it again, I think I detected 5 teams: the terrorist; the Ukrainian Ground Forces; the protagonist and 3 other CIA members; Sator’s colleagues, and Nile. I was able to distinguish the teams by a particular feature on their gas masks. There was a detail—-the inner circle of the gas masks (which I circled in red in the photo) — that was unique for each team. This feature on the gas masks that belong to the protagonist team is yellow; the inner circle on the gas masks of the Ukrainian Ground Forces’ team didn’t have any color.

2. The audience members in the opera scene were “sleeping” because of sleeping gas. I think this part is satirizing the real-life event that happened on October 23, 2002 —- Forty terrorists rushed into Moscow’s cultural palace. The police used sleeping gas to put the audience to sleep so they could catch the terrorists. They killed 39 terrorists, but they also caused the deaths of 129 audience members who died from the sleeping gas.


3. The names in TENET have connections with Lingua LatīnaSator is the “bad guy” in the movie. At last, when the protagonist said he is a madling, he said: “Or the god.”Actually, “Sator” does have the meaning of “god” or “ancestor” in Latin. 

Arepo is the one who sells fake drawings to Sator. He’s an important character because if he didn’t do that, Kat could divorce Sator, and then the protagonist wouldn’t have had the chance to meet Sator. “Arepo” means “the god of death” and “born-again.”

TENET, as we all know, is the movie’s name and also the name of the organization which the protagonist joins. It means balance, maintenance, and peace.

At the beginning of the movie, the protagonist fights with the other teams and after that fight, the protagonist joins the organization “TENET.” The opera is where the fight happened. Furthermore, the opera is where the protagonist meets his partner Nail for the first time. Opera means “mission” and “work” in Latin. Rotas is the name given to the places that have reversing stations nearby. “Reversing places/stations” are very important in this movie;  people can go back to the past when standing at a reversing place. Interestingly enough, rotas mean “reverse” in Latin.

If you haven’t seen the movie TENET yet, you will love it if you like lots of fast-paced action. But don’t be surprised if you have trouble following the movie plot; it is very confusing! And if you happen to notice any interesting observations about the movie, please let us know by writing in the Comments section below.