Tells the story "you could never make up" but emphasises the high stakes in a more than interesting way that resonates on screen.
BY ELLIOT LINES MARCH 27, 2023
Easily one of the most recognisable games in the world, a film about the "discovery" of those falling colourful blocks sounds like a bit of a drag. However, Tetris tells the story "you could never make up" but emphasises the high stakes in a more than interesting way that resonates on screen.
When businessman Henk Rogers (Taron Egerton) stumble across the game Tetris at a convention he sees an opportunity to gain the rights for the release of the game around the globe. Henk must come up against the Soviet Union, current rights holders and other competitors to gain access to the video game, so he joins forces with Tetris inventor Alexey Pajitnov (Nikita Efremov) and risks it all to bring Tetris to the globe.
Business films have become quite a regular occurrence in the past 10 years. Films like the The Social Network (Facebook) and The Founder (McDonalds) are a few that come to mind. These types of films create an interest for well known brands and an insight into seeing how they formed (even if they twist the truth). They make good stories and Tetris is no different.
The film is split up into levels (just like chapters), and as you expect each one gets that little bit more difficult, a simple but clever narrative tool for a film about a game. It's immediately clear that when the levels move forward that the stakes for Henk are heightened, with the further into Tetris you get the more exciting and tense it gets, just like the game itself. The final few scenes turn into an action chase scene through the streets of Moscow, but become even more interesting when the cars jump between reality and 8-bit adding a more interesting touch to the film.
Taron Egerton plays the business man Henk Rogers, who as you expect is a confident man, that has put his soul into this vision and Egerton portrays this extremely well. There is and awkwardness about him on screen at times, but maybe it points more towards a proudness. Henk needs to be pushy and determined and Egerton comes across in exactly that manner.
Historical accuracies are always the questionable part of this genre of film. In an interview prior to the release Henk Rogers and Alexey Pajitnov both reviewed the script for Tetris and made suggestions towards it but were inclined to mention, "It's a Hollywood script; it's a movie. It's not about history, so a lot of [what's in the movie] never happened.".
Tetris came out being a huge surprise. At first my thoughts weren't quite sure what to expect, but as the film progressed I found myself increasingly engaged with the story that was unfolding, with the growing tensions hitting an emotional sweet spot.