Cast: Nicolas Cage; Director: Alex Proyas; Producers: Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal, Alex Proyas, Steve Tisch; Screenwriters: Ryne Douglas Pearson, Juliet Snowden; Music: Marco Beltrami; Editor: Richard Learoyd, ; Genre: Sci-Fi/ Fantasy; Cinematography: Simon Duggan; Distributor: Summit Entertainment; Location: Melbourne, Australia; Running Time: 125 min.;
Technical Assessment: 3.5
Moral Assessment: 3.5
CINEMA Rating: For viewers age 13 and below with parental guidance
In 1959, a group of students in a small town elementary school is asked to draw pictures of their imagination of the future which be placed in a time capsule. Lucinda, a mysterious girl, fills her sheet of paper with rows of random numbers to which she just cannot stop writing. Fifty years later, the time capsule is opened and a new generation of students examines the contents and Lucinda’s cryptic work ends up in the hands of the young boy Caleb Koestler (Chandler Canterbury). Caleb’s father, a science professor, John Koestler (Nicolas Cage) discovers the random numbers are actual predictions of dates, death tolls and other coordinates of each major global disaster of the past 50 years. As he unravels the document’s secrets, he realizes it further foretells three more tragedies and the last of which hints a global scale destruction which somehow involve his son. Will he be able to do something to prevent the prediction from happening?
Knowing seems to be another “doomsday” movie at the onset but it turns out to be more than that. The story does not simply dwell on catastrophes and disasters rather it also attempts to provide a discourse on the accuracy of science and the truthfulness of religious doctrines concerning end of the world and life after death. The storytelling technique used in the film makes the audience glued on their seats. Although filled with many improbabilities, the spectacular execution of both small and big scenes allows the audience to suspend disbelief. For its visual mastery of creating suspense and thrill backed by fluid storytelling and effective portrayals of the actors, Knowing is worth watching.
Science and religion usually do not meet in matters concerning the physical world and the spiritual dimension of life, but Knowing is able to somehow present both sides head on without offending any beliefs or practices. Fortune telling has always been condemned in the teachings of the church but the Book of Revelations in the Bible contains many prophecies of the future. John’s character is an epitome of skepticism in terms of religious faith which has something to do with his tragic past. But then, his faith in God is rekindled by the sudden turn of events in his life. Most significant of which is the realization that there must be a life and a place somewhere else beyond the physical world. He goes back to his most treasured relationship- his family. Above all else, he makes an ultimate sacrifice defying his own belief, rationality and emotions for the sake of his beloved son. The film says there is a God who is all knowing and above everything; and there is one place, a heaven, meant and prepared for those who are ready and worthy to be there.