Tetris (2023): Fun & Enjoyable Film Like Video Games

Tetris is a fun-filled and enjoyable film, just like the iconic video game of the same name. Based on the real-life story of Alexey Leonidovich Pajitnov and Henk Rogers, the men behind this popular puzzle video game.

In case you have played this puzzle game, then I am sure that you will love to learn about its true story. So, let us start with a short introduction to this film and then move on to detailed information about it.

Tetris (USA/2023) Film:- details

GenreBiography, Drama, Mystery, Thriller,
Age-restrictionsA (18+)
Original LanguageEnglish
Film Length1 hour 58 minutes
WriterNoah Pink
DirectorJon S. Baird
ReleasedMarch 2023
CastTaron Egerton, Nikita Efremov, Sofya Lebedeva, Ben Miles, Toby Jones, Ayane, etc.
TaglinesThe game you couldn’t put down. The story you couldn’t make up.
About – Tetris

Tetris (USA/2023) Film:- synopsis

It tells the unbelievable story of how one of the world’s most popular video games found its way to avid players around the globe. Businessman Henk Rogers (Taron Egerton) discovers TETRIS in 1988 and then risks everything by travelling to the Soviet Union (USSR), where he joins forces with game inventor Alexey Pazhitnov (Nikita Efremov) to bring the game to the masses.

Based on a true story, it is a Cold War-era thriller on steroids, with double-crossing villains, unlikely heroes and a nail-biting race to the finish.

Tetris (USA/2023) Film:- {Spoiler Free} review

Before we proceed further, let us look back at the recent history of the world in brief. In the 1980s our global world order (economic & political) was clearly divided into two superpowers during the Cold War era – the communist USSR and the capitalist USA. Mikhail Gorbachev, the President of the Soviet Union decided to end communism in the USSR, thereby leading to its dissolution into multiple independent nations in 1991.

The true story of this puzzle game is set against such an interesting historical backdrop of such a recent past.

While growing up, I played Tetris many times and even became addicted to it. But I never realized its amazing and captivating background true tale behind the inception and distribution of one of the best-selling games.

And this is where this film steps in, to introduce us to Alexey – the computer engineer who made this original game in the Soviet Union (former USSR & now Russia) in the 1980s and Henk – the globe-trotting video game entrepreneur who takes up unbelievable risks to get this addictive video game to the world outside of iron-curtain clad USSR.

While watching this film, we also get to peek into the ideological battle between the capitalist and the communist system. However, some viewers are not happy with the depiction of life in the former communist nation Soviet Union in this film.

And after watching this film, I have no doubt, that it has taken quite a few artistic liberties in this biographic tale.

{Please note: this image of the Tetris game is courtesy of Wikipedia.}

Also, not only Taron Egerton (Henk Rogers) and Nikita Efremov (Alexey Pazhitnov) have done justice to their roles, but its ensemble cast of Sofya Lebedeva (Sasha), Ben Miles (Howard Lincoln), Toby Jones (Robert Stein), Ayane (Akemi Rogers), et al have done a good job. This is indeed a fascinating story narrated in a typical Hollywood drama style.

With a tight script and innovative filming style (using Tetris blocks on various occasions), this film kept us engaged and glued to the screen. Watch it, as it is one of the top Hollywood movies of the year 2023.

Tetris (USA/2023) Film:- {Spoilers Alert} about the game & the key characters

Alexey Pajitnov and his puzzle game invention

In the summer of 1984, Alexey came up with the Tetris game in about two weeks’ time. In this computer game, puzzle pieces of different shapes fall down a computer screen, and the player has to ensure that these block pieces fall down in the right places or else the player loses the game because of the unmanageable blockage.

This puzzle game was inspired by a game called Pentominoes, which features Tetris-like pieces that you place in a puzzle box. Also, it is interesting to note that Alexey mixed the Greek word “Tetra” (which means four) with “Tennis” (his favourite sport) to come up with the unique name “Tetris” game. Within a couple of years, the Tetris game became the most popular game in the Soviet Union.

What is the Tetris Effect?

In this film, Henk Rogers admits that even while sleeping, he dreams about the Tetris game pieces. This a real phenomenon. In fact, in 1994, journalist Jeffrey Goldsmith used the Tetris Effect term to describe when people play and think excessively about this Game, then the blocks of this game begin to appear in their thoughts, perceptions, mental images and dreams.

Fate of Nikolai Belikov & ELORG company

Well, even after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Nikolai Belikov continued to manage ELORG as a private company. He worked with Alexey Pajitnov and Henk Rogers to publish the game throughout Europe and kept half the rights to this puzzle game. Later in 1995, he sold the rights to this game back to the duo of Alexey and Henk.

Then in 2005, he disposed of his shares of this puzzle game back to the Tetris Company (owned by Alexey and Henk) for USD 15 million.

Fate of Alexey Pajitnov and his family

After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Henk Rogers helped Alexey Pajitnov (and his family) immigrate to the USA and settle down in the Seattle area.

When the rights to the Tetris game expired in 1995, Alexey finally got an opportunity to earn real money from the puzzle game that he had created. At that time, ELORG had become a private company managed by Nikolai Belikov in Russia and it decided to buy fifty per cent of the puzzle game rights. The remaining fifty per cent was bought by The Tetris Company owned by the partners Henk Rogers and Alexey Pajitnov.

Belatedly after a long period of 13 years, Alexey started getting royalties for the puzzle game he created in 1984. Then in 1996, Alexey joined Microsoft and he designed many more puzzle games for the company, however, none of the computer games became as successful as Tetris game. After working for almost a decade, he left Microsoft in 2005.

As of now, Alexey is working on other projects of his and collecting the royalties from this puzzle game.

Tetris is one of the highest-selling video game

From 1993 to 2020, this puzzle game (1984) was the best-selling video game of all time.
However, the Minecraft game (2009) beat this video game in 2020.

As of now, Tetris (1984) is the third best-selling game after Minecraft (2009) and Grand Theft Auto V (2013). Its sales data reveal that this puzzle game franchise as a whole has sold nearly 500 million copies, making it the second best-selling game franchise after the Mario (1985) game. Also, the mobile version (now-defunct) of this puzzle game had sold over 100 million copies alone.

Check out more details about this video game from its official website.

Also, you can download this game from the Google Play Store.

Focus:- bonus info. about its film script

When Alexey Pazhitnov and Henk Rogers read and reviewed the script for their biography, Henk Rogers reacted by stating that much of it was decorated and dramatised for the Hollywood film.

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. But the filmmakers asked us a bunch of questions about what it was really like… They tried their best to accept our changes when they had to do with authenticity. But when it started getting into [creative flourishes like] the car chase and all that, it was like, ‘OK, now it’s all them.’ We couldn’t change anything.

Alexey Pazhitnov & Henk Rogers

And I have to agree with the said statement, the car chase scene was really a typical movie stunt with a slight addition of elements from this puzzle game.

Tetris (USA/2023) Film:- poster

Tetris (2023) Film – Poster

Tetris (USA/2023) Film:- ratings

FM’s rating4.00/5
IMDb rating as of the date 7.4/10
Rotten Tomatoes ratings as of the date82% Tomatometer & 87% Audience Score
Critics Consensus / Rotten TomatoesWhile it’s nowhere near as addictive or fast-paced as the game, this film offers a fun, fizzy account of the story behind an 8-bit classic.
Audience Says / Rotten TomatoesEven if it plays fast and loose with the true story behind the game, this film is tons of fun — and Taron Egerton has never been better.
Tetris – FM, IMDb & Rotten Tomatoes ratings

Tetris (USA/2023) Film:- trailer

Tetris – official trailer | Youtube.

Featured & other images from the Tetris film | Apple+.