Knowing is a 2009 thriller directed by Alex Proyas (I Robot, Dark City). It stars Nicolas Cage as a physics teacher, also a single dad of a boy named Caleb. One day in school, Caleb receives a piece of paper that was sealed in a time capsule 50 years ago. This piece of paper has thousands of numbers written on it, and the meaning of these numbers is the main mystery of the film. The paper somehow ends up in Nicolas Cage’s hands and he accidentally discovers a pattern in the numbers.
At the beginning of the film, we see where this piece of paper comes from. The origin of this artifact is creepy and intriguing, accompanied by a frightening soundtrack. In fact, most of the film is very intense and has a slight horror vibe to it. I like that the origin of this piece of paper is explained right from the start, so we get the main thrust of the plot right away. This film presents its story in a clear manner which I appreciate, although it contains some scientific talk that you actually need not bother to understand.
Nicolas Cage gives a good performance, and there are scenes that give you an idea of what kind of person his character is and what kind of lifestyle he has. He makes decisions that affect the way the film progresses, although there are lots of plot devices that makes certain circumstances a little unbelievable. The film dwells into the question of whether everything that is happening was already destined, or whether you can change the future. Nicolas Cage is caught between these two ideologies, and now he has to choose the correct one in order to save the world.
Such a movie will make you ask a lot of questions along the way. As Nicolas Cage uncovers more secrets and gets into more trouble, you are in your seat hoping that the conclusion manages to pull all the chaos together and end the film on a satisfying note note. This film ties everything together in a bizarre way. It reminded me of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, but the Kubrick film was already insane the whole time. Knowing seems like it is grounded in reality, but you should know that the ending is completely unrealistic and absurd.
Although Knowing is an exciting film that keeps up the mysterious atmosphere for the most part, the overall story sometimes feels forced and unbelievable. People usually criticise movies for having predictable endings, but here’s a film where I wished it ended in a more conventional manner.