John David Washington plays the protagonist in Tenet, and his character is referred to as such everywhere. Why doesn’t it have a proper name?
What is the significance of John David Washington known only as the protagonist of Principle? Easily the craziest entry in Christopher Nolan’s cinematic canon, PrincipleThe main character begins as a CIA agent, but is done in the first few minutes. Fortunately, his kidnapping is just an audition for the underground organization Tenet – a test he passes with flying colors. For the rest of Principle, The protagonist embarks on an operation to save the world, preventing Sator from using the algorithm and unfolding human history. The protagonist goes back and forth in time, and in a final conversation with Neil, it becomes clear that the John David Washington story has only just begun.
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Principle reveals a lot about its main character. Dedicated to work, but not to the point of sacrificing values. Quietly confident, like James Bond without the toxic masculinity, but happy enough to slap a man with a cheese grater. Quite smart (or watched Terminator, one or the other) to form a future time travel organization and send his own best friend back to close the causal loop. One thing the public never more about the character of John David Washington, however, is his name. At no point is he mentioned in specific terms, and Priya even uses the term “protagonist” on screen.
Deliberately hiding the main character’s name is an odd choice at the best of times, but especially in a James bond– flavored spy thriller, and there are a number of possible ways to interpret this bold move, all of which could have played a part in Nolan’s thinking. first of all, Principle isn’t a movie that prioritizes character development, and the twisted narrative actually makes changing the cast in a traditional sense almost impossible. As a result, The Protagonist acts like a virgin (though not necessarily uninteresting) hero that audiences can project onto while watching. Washington arrives without history, without deep motivation and without personal experience Principle, other than saving the world. Calling him simply “The Protagonist” fits this general idea of a non-specific hero.
This concept also works from the point of view of the universe. In PrincipleIn the spy world, names are more of a hindrance than a help, and even “Neil” is probably a pseudonym (for Max?). Priya repeatedly asserts that in Tenet’s line of business, ignorance is their advantage over the future, and the very nature of the assignment remains strictly a need to know. As such, having a name is an unnecessary distraction from the work at hand – especially when no one is using their real name anyway.
While this explains why Nolan chose not to give John David Washington’s hero a proper name, it does not explain why he is openly referred to as The (or, in fact a) Protagonist on screen. Oddly enough, Nolan’s Start could be the key to unraveling this mystery. Each of Cobb’s main gangs in the 2010 classic represents a part of the filmmaking process – Cobb is the director, Arthur the producer, Eames the actor, Fischer the audience, and more. only a small jump to call a main character “The protagonist”.
A final possible explanation for the protagonist’s enigmatic nickname can be found in Principleis without excuse James bond affecting. With Principle, Nolan essentially modernizes Formula 007, but eschews the darker intensity of Daniel Craig’s era. Choosing a name for John David Washington’s nu-Bond is inherently tricky; something with an upper-class connotation falls too close to the universe of Ian Fleming, but a more simple, modern name could be seen as inspired by Jason Bourne. In fact, it is better to avoid the initials “JB” altogether. Take a typically new point of view, call PrincipleThe hero of the film “The Protagonist” could be part of the general philosophy of the film to be cool without trying be cool. After all, it worked for Clint Eastwood in The good, the bad and the ugly.
More: Principle, Creation, and Interstellar Are Linked – Nolanverse Theory Explained
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