Taron Egerton Plays His Part in Handheld History for ‘Tetris’

Picture by way of Apple

In 1989, when gaming basic Tetris launched, it took the world by storm. Now explored by Apple TV’s newest authentic that lands on Mar. 31, this fiendishly addictive, completely transportable, and immediately accessible title would promote thousands and thousands. Nevertheless, behind that international success story sits one thing altogether extra unbelievable, involving Russian premiers, newspaper tycoons, and a few good quaint political wrangling.  

Written by Noah Pink, directed by Jon S. Baird (Stonehouse), and starring Taron Egerton (Blackbird) – Tetris is nothing wanting superb. Filled with limitless invention and greater than a modicum of dry wit, it’d simply seem to be a rags to riches origin story with an 8-bit overlay – however this retro retelling goes a lot deeper.  

As proprietor of Bulletproof Software program, Henk Rogers (Egerton) is making an attempt to make a life for himself and his household in Japan. This Tetris story will get a soar begin when he stumbles on the sport throughout a shopper electronics present. Drawn to the simplicity of interlinking blocks as a premise, he immediately spots it market worth and set off in sizzling pursuit to retain the publishing rights.  

That is the place the movie takes a refreshing flip, as an innumerable quantity of events all begin jockeying for possession. There may be Robert Maxwell, a supremely caustic Roger Allam, who owns Mirrorsoft – a subsidiary of his newspaper empire which he permits his son Kevin (Anthony Boyle) to supervise.  

In one other nook working beneath the auspices of Andromeda Software program is Robert Stein (Toby Jones), who is likely to be in partnership with Mirrorsoft, however is desperately making an attempt to make a deal for himself. To not point out the Russians who’re coping with unrest as Communism crumbles, perestroika will get a foothold, and an financial and political restructuring features momentum. In a phrase these are fascinating occasions.  

What meaning for an viewers, is that Tetris interprets into an entertaining and at all times academic expertise, which makes use of 8-bit soundtrack snippets, segues into block graphics, and pops with inspirational moments. That Egerton sits on the ethical middle of this story as Rogers – being a bastion of respectable intentions while imbuing occasions with dramatic kudos – merely makes the whole lot slot into place.  

Completely balancing the coldly scientific Iron Curtain etiquette of Russia with a progressive Western world who consider in multi-cultural markets and a killer thought after they see it – Tetris can also be an fascinating lesson in capitalism over Communism. The cash-grabbing KGB factor desires its reduce, whereas the Soviet-based Erlong tech agency, who make use of Tetris inventor Alexey Pajitnov (Nikita Efremov), need development for Russia drives this intriguing drama.  

It additionally segues into household drama, as Rogers and his household perpetually lose and acquire the rights to this sport, however it additionally makes as a lot sense as a buddy film – particularly when Henk connects with Alexey in these latter phases. Not solely making this a movie which mixes and matches genres however embracing the inherent underdog components of energy over persistence as effectively. 

At sure factors Tetris descends into farce, as contracts are bounced between opposing forces by Erlong head honcho Nikolai Belakov (Oleg Stefan), whereas KGB agent Valentin Trifonov (Igor Grabuzov) polices his each transfer. In the end although, it’s in regards to the detrimental need for cash and energy over all issues, fairly than an awesome urge to entertain the lots.  

Standouts past the principal gamers embody Igor Grabuzov as self-centered KGB agent Valentin, whereas Egerton continues to show his versatility in one other standout efficiency, which requires him to ship on all ranges.  

Jones additionally sticks his touchdown as Robert Stein, including one other string to an already various bow, by coming throughout put upon and conniving in equal measure. Not solely giving this man villainous overtones, but in addition striving to reveal his weaknesses on the similar time. Past that, this movie will be sure that audiences come away from Tetris enlightened.  

In a society the place cutting-edge tech makes cellular gaming on the transfer frequent place, and Steam Deck provides individuals PC energy of their palm, seeing that development explored on movie is fascinating. Greater than something, Tetris is trying to remind audiences that gaming needn’t be sophisticated. Actual world environments, AI impressed NPCs, and non-linear narratives had been by no means the head of playability. 

Again earlier than the Westernization of the Jap Bloc, when individuals nonetheless communicated over fax machines, and processing energy was measured in megabytes gaming was less complicated – if the story of Tetris going international teaches us something, it teaches us that. 


Taron Egerton and Toby Jones make ‘Tetris’ probably the most intriguing online game motion pictures for a while. Slick, savvy, and with no scarcity of dry wit – audiences ought to lap this up.