After watching a seemingly normal unceremonious applaud to the “past looking into the future”, an MIT astrophysicist professor get’s a hold of a note from a girl in 1959. It clearly indicates all catastrophic events that will shake the world fifty years into her future. What catches the Professor’s attention is the accuracy of the numbers and that it plotted precise predictions … save three that are about to happen.
I genuinely love the movie. Having been raised in a culture and religion that defines the human limitations when it comes to pre-destined events, I pretty much buy the concept of how we’ll close the chapter of human civilization. I am aware and fully believe – although I hope never to see it come to fruition – that in the future, the Heaven’s will rain fire and extinguish all that is living and few will be chosen to survive. It may just be a bunch of mumbo jumbo mystic gibberish talk to most, but I call it something else. Back in Junior High, I was able to read the Book of Revelations. It was harrowing and vivid; I have never read any book that is comparable to how horror-struck I was after putting it down.
Knowing uses this idea as a tacit jumpoff point. It takes us to the final days of the human race leading to a cataclysmic event that will shake the earth one mile deep and leave nothing alive. The huge set pieces (aviation crash, train wreck and Caleb’s vision of the forest burning to cinder) weaves a provoking image of fear and hopelessness. Well placed and accentuated, it continually reminds the characters and the audience of the ticking time bomb that one needs to avert because death proves to be unjust and merciless. The ratio of fear was enough to engulf you for the rest of the movie and I was also amazed on how it awakens fear of crowds, enclosed places and fire. It reminded me why I don’t like flying and subways. The narrative perspective fluidly takes us to the impending peril with surreal contrast.
What boosted the movie was its musical score. From beginning to end, it built the situation and carefully guides you to the right emotion the director is trying to suggest. There is a realized possibility that the well positioned score became a continuity bridge for most of the scenes. It is both brazen and sinuous.
Although the lead character can be played by anyone (if I was the casting director, I’d put Sean Penn in there – imagine him uttering lines like “The next number on the chain predicts that tomorrow, somewhere on the planet, 81 people are going to die.” Or maybe Gerard Butler), it was rendered well by Cage. The thoughts that seem to be a crazy far fetch rant by a seemingly crazy girl from the past, is sifted well by his character making it a rational consideration. In turn it establishes the idea the film is trying to sell. Caleb, who is played by Chandler Canterbury (first seen in I am Legend), executes his purpose well. His smart aleck streak and his silent-morose character stretch from support to lead.
The cinematography did not fail either. The setting was chosen well and the depiction of how beautiful the world is; knit gracefully via the opening aerial shot and strewn shots of Massachusetts foliage. The mood is aligned to noir that it produces the feeling of longing and failure – which if we look closely, is exactly what our protagonist is all about. As the movie moves along, the colour of scenery and location synchronize the imminent tragedy. Director Alex Proyas, have created something special, something noteworthy especially to those who believe in life apart from what we know.
Knowing‘s finale was disturbing, daring and divine.