We anticipated this in theepisode 11 of the Freaking News podcast, and as promised here it is: in a few days it will be available for streaming Tetris, new Apple TV+ movie. world premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival and is being released exclusively on the on-demand streaming platform, which chronicles The story of the ‘cold war’ over the sales rights of the famous video game, created in the Soviet Union in the late 1980s but immediately became popular (today we would say ‘viral’) everywhere from Japan and the United States.
Directed by Jon S. Baird, whom we had come to love thanks to Laurel and Hardy, his second direction that arrived in 2018 and is dedicated to the story of the legendary comedy duo composed of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy (played on that occasion by Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly), Tetris is a delightful biopic led by Taron Egerton, who proves to be an excellent actor when it comes to recreating real-life characters.
The story, a variation of Ben Affleck’s Argo or Steven Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies toward comedic tones, is that of Henk Rogers (Egerton), a mediocre programmer of uninspired video games who discovers Tetris in 1988 during an electronics trade show.
Henk, with great entrepreneurial spirit, decides to go all in on the video game by traveling to the Soviet Union, where he joins forces with its inventor Alexey Pajitnov (Nikita Efremov) to succeed in bringing it to the attention of the masses. Under the communist regime, however, intrigue, plotting, betrayal, and above all threats, far from virtual, will follow.
‘Argo fuck off,’ for video gamers
Jon Baird is not frightened by the idea of mixing genres, and in Tetris we find anything and everything: the biopic about the copyright feud over an epoch-making intellectual property cannot help but immediately bring to mind David Fincher’s The Social Network (with due proportion), but the intrigue typical of Cold War thrillers closely resembles the atmospheres of John le Carré’s novels., with double-crossing ‘villain’ characters, unlikely heroes, and a gripping race to the finish line.
There is the financial thriller at the Tom Clancy, unrestrained editing, and colorful action inserts with 8bit effects, Nintendo’s first Game Boy (a leading company in the industry that, once it was convinced by Rogers about the potential of Tetris, decided to buy the video game to sell it bundled with the mythological handheld console), there is Super Mario and Zelda and even Michail Gorbačëv, but there is mostly An awareness of the power of cinema to work on imaginaries To turn History into cinematic entertainment.
The strength of Tetris lies entirely in its pop lightness., certainly not in the historiographical accuracy of the reconstruction of the events narrated: that is why comparisons with the aforementioned Argo, Bridge of Spies, and The Social Network stop at the community of settings and/or situations, here the point is never to tell the truth but to embellish it, rework it, make it spectacular, and the refinement of a great underlying lightness is so precise that it succeeds in never once defusing (perhaps except for the ending, really a simplistic replica of the one in Ben Affleck’s masterpiece), the many moments of pure thriller.
Great heart in recounting the similarities between men from different societies (also brought together by passions, such as video games) between men from different societies, and great head in portraying, effectively, an era of change, between the death of communism and the rise of unbridled capitalism. While we wait to be able to say something about the animated Super Mario Bros. movie, due out in April, another centerpiece for video games on the big and small screen, following the stratospheric success of HBO’s The Last of Us.