Tenet raises many questions but is Neil dead? Let’s discuss the fate of Robert Pattinson’s character and what it all means.

There are many great filmmakers working today but arguably none of them are as ambitious as Christopher Nolan.

The 50-year-old director has been hailed as a visionary for many years now, with the likes of The Dark Knight trilogy, Inception and Interstellar already boasting admirable legacies.

With each of his films across the 2010s, he has strived to bring us something different, showcasing his talents in numerous genres. With Inception he turned the heist movie on its head and now, with Tenet, he has done something rather similar with the spy sub-genre.

The film is perhaps his most divisive yet and certainly his most complex; it demands multiple viewings to fully comprehend.

Of course, it’s expected that a Christopher Nolan film warrants lengthy discussion, but with Tenet there are some questions you’ll know are downright imperative the moment you exit the cinema.

Le Bal des Folles (The Mad Women’s Ball) | Official Trailer

Let’s address one of the biggest…

still from “Tenet”, Syncopy et al.

Tenet: Is Neil dead?

  • It’s a rather tricky answer, but yes, Neil does die at the end of Tenet. Let us explain!

Neil (played by Robert Pattinson) does die but considering we see him alive as he walks off into the distance, it deserves some quick analysis.

In the final exchanges between him and The Protagonist (John David Washington), he explains that he will relive the battle that we’ve just witnessed unfold on-screen. So, this means that he was present in the prior events which transpired.

This is confirmed when he turns around to reveal an orange cord attached to his backpack, clarifying the identity of the masked man who took a bullet for the protagonist during the Stalask-12 battle.

We realise this at the same time as The Protagonist, but as Neil walks away the protagonist doesn’t stop him.

Why? Well, as suggested by Games Radar, it’s because Neil plays a central role in saving the world from the deadly algorithm. Without his sacrifice, the results of their efforts would be in vain.

Of course, the relationship between these two characters isn’t over, as Neil informs the protagonist that he’ll recruit a younger version of him for other adventures; one of these is the opera heist, in which he can be spotted.

Neil’s dialogue in this departing scene has also led some to speculate that he is Kat’s (Elizabeth Debicki) son, Max. You can look more into that theory here.

Robert Pattinson scores another win

With Tenet, Robert Pattison continues to cement himself as one of the finest screen actors working today.

Neil is a character we’ll surely be talking about for some time and the complexity of the character and his arc becomes clearer over time.

Along with his work in Good Time, The Lighthouse and High Life, his performance in Tenet is yet another win and audiences have already flocked to Twitter to offer their thoughts.

Check out a selection of tweets:

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