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Fans criticise 'Tenet' sound mixing: "Scenes are impossible to hear"

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Fans have taken to Twitter to criticise the sound mix for Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, saying dialogue is almost incomprehensible.

The filmmaker’s latest mind-scrambling epic, a time-travel spy thriller, has frustrated viewers due to technicalities as well as plot specifics, with many questioning the sound mixing choices.

  • Read more: ‘Tenet’ review: time-travelling thriller from the king of cerebral blockbusters

Tenet is relentlessly impressive, intensely spectacular and a dazzling mind fuck,” one user on Twitter began. “However…the sound mix is so overwhelmingly maximised that it’s sometimes difficult to properly hear the dialogue, making an already complex plot unnecessarily more difficult to grasp.”

The feeling was shared by many, with another fan tweeting, “Does Christopher Nolan need to see an ear doctor? Serious question… hearing MULTIPLE a complaints about #Tenet regarding the sound mix, saying some scenes are impossible to hear the dialogue. I don’t understand why this is a constant choice of his?”

The criticism has been levelled at the filmmaker before, particularly on his space-travel drama Interstellar. Explaining his technique to The Hollywood Reporter in 2014, Nolan said, “I don’t agree with the idea that you can only achieve clarity through dialogue.

“Clarity of story, clarity of emotions — I try to achieve that in a very layered way using all the different things at my disposal — picture and sound.”

However, fans were still left frustrated with the new film, with another reaction pointing out, “People are saying to watch Tenet dubbed in a different language so you can read the subtitles because apparently the sound mixing is incredibly bad ahahaha.”

In a five-star review of Tenet, NME said: “It’s a challenging, ambitious and genuinely original film packed with compelling performances – Washington and Debicki are especially excellent – which confirms Nolan as the master of the cerebral blockbuster.”

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