Tenet storyform discussion

Hi guys,

Just saw TENET. I think this is Nolan’s best work!

And I see a nice storyform there.

It would be great for us to discuss this.

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I’m waiting for it to release on dvd in a few days and will watch it. I’m hearing things like “lacks heart” which without having seen it sounds like it’s maybe weak in the RS department. But I’m excited to watch it either way.

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I can tell you; the RS is quite faint, but it’s there. I’d like to hear your thoughts after you’ve seen it.

I’m sure I’ll be here soon after watching it.

Haha I disagree! For me, that’s not Nolan’s best work. In my opinion, The Prestige and Inception are better and I think The Prestige is his best work. So, I would like to know how do you rate a work than another?

But yes, it would be interesting to discuss about Tenet’s storyform! I’m curious too!

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:rofl:. Art is subjective my good man. In terms of the story, TENET isnt the best,but for the artform and execution of such a high concept, it’s his best imo.

Can’t wait for more of us to see it so we can dissect this thing. :grin:

The sound design made it difficult for me to fully comprehend the story. That said, I think I have a general idea of what the four throughlines are:


MC - Protagonist
IC - Kat
RS - Kat & Protagonist (unless it’s between her and Andrei)
OS - Fighting the future

I think Kat is at the heart of the story. She makes it feel meaningful. I believe this is because she represents the perspective with a Changed resolve. I don’t know the specifics of her problem and solution, but I would say that her arc has to do with her transitioning from being controlled to being free.

Of course, “controlled to free” could also describe RS throughline between her and Andrei. That would make sense, unless the RS throughline is about the relationship between Neil and the Protagonist. Or, alternatively, there’s the potential Kat-Protagonist RS throughline that I felt was present in the film. So there are lots of different relationships, and I’m not sure which ones fall into the RS throughline.

And I suppose yet another consideration is that Neil could be an Impact Character. So I guess I have two major questions that I need some help answering:

  1. Who in the film is an impact character?
  2. Who in the film is included within the relationship throughline(s)?

Naturally, in order to answer those two questions, it would be beneficial to have a more clearly defined MC and OS throughline. Maybe someone else can further specify the details of those two throughlines.

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Nice entry @BillyBenji.



I think you’re right in some areas.

MC = Protagonist = Hero. PHYSICS

OS Concern / Goal = THE FUTURE.
Benchmark = Progress (I think)

RS = As for the relationship, I think it’s muddled, but it’s truly with Niel that I sense that more organically. I sense Kat being part of the RS but in a more…tacked on kind of way. But I feel she’s purely OS.

IC = Definitely Niel. PSYCHOLOGY.

Let’s let others attempt.

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What is Protagonists personal perspective on the problem?

Hi Greg. In Dramatica, the protagonists don’t have a “personal” perspective. That’s the role of the Main Character. But when both functions are harbored in the same Player, he/she is called a Hero/Heroine.

In this story, to me, it seemed that all objective characters -protagonist included- were concerned about THE FUTURE.

The protagonists illustration seemed to be Altering the Future State of things by messing with THE PAST.

Hope this answers your question?

I was actually referring to Protagonist, the character in the movie played by John David Washington. If he had a name other than The Protagonist, I missed it. Is that not who you were saying fulfills the Main Character perspective above? In Physics?


Yes, you’re right! We don’t know the name of this character. He is just called “The Protagonist”, and I think we can say he represents the Main Character Throughline. Is he a Do-er (Physics or Universe) or a Be-er (Mind or Psychology)? What’s the Objective Story Goal?

Why can we say this? What problem does he address that others don’t?

With the other answers and storypoints, we can confirm or not, if The Protagonist is the good character for the MC Throughline. I’m not sure… That’s why I think we can try to find the storyform based on this. Can we have another character? Kat? Andrei? Priya? I don’t see anyone else to represent the MC throughline, unless Neil, maybe…

OS Domain: Universe

  • Preventing a catastrophic event that will cause devastation to the whole world?

OS Concern: Future

  • Avoiding Sator from bringing the rest of humanity down with him?

OS Issue: Delay VS Choice

  • Delaying the Sator to prevent him from activating the weapon by killing himself and thus reverse the entropy?

MC Domain: Physics

  • The Protagonist?

MC Concern: Obtaining?

  • Preventing a catastrophic event that will cause devastation to the whole world?
  • Avoiding Sator from bringing the rest of humanity down with him?
    (It also seems to correspond to the Objective Story…)

IC Domain: Psychology

  • Kat?
  • Neil?
  • Kat and Neil? (Is Neil Kat’s son?)

IC Concern: Becoming?

  • Becoming Mother?
  • Being Dead to save the world?

RS Domain: Mind

  • ?

RS Concern: Subconscious?

I’m trying to see where we can go… It’s not easy.

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Isn’t everyone dealing with both of these, though?

Ruling out the other characters does not force the role onto the one we did not rule out.

Yes, that’s why I said “It also seems to correspond to the Objective Story”. We can put the Objective Story in Physics.

I agree. I just write this beginning of storyform based on the answer from @Khodu. And for me too, The Protagonist seems to represent the MC Throughline, but I have to identify other storypoints, to be sure of this choice.

Fair enough. But it was listed under MC as well. So let’s rules those out as MC illustrations, then.

Can you describe without Dramatica in mind? For instance, we might say Kat is the only one dealing with trying to keep her son in her life. Doesn’t matter yet if that’s Obtaining or Present or whatever.


The Protagonist is the one who initially recruited a future version of Neil. They have known each other for many years. Without being aware of it, it was actually the Protagonist who launched the entire Operation Tenet after reversing into the future. Not only by recruiting Neil, but also by recruiting the past version of himself.

I don’t know if that makes sense, but it’s my understanding of the movie.

It makes sense, but how are those things problematic for him?

The film Memento did a very good job showing how problematic not knowing the whole can be. It was a fantastic movie. There is a storyform in the Dramatica Analysis area.

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