When a professor stumbles on a set of coded numbers, written in 1959 and buried in a time capsule at his son’s school, he makes a startling discovery. The cryptic message predicts every major disaster of the past 50 years and holds chilling predictions about future catastrophes – the last of which hints at destruction on a global scale.
Knowing starts off as an intriguing, entertaining, special effects driven disaster film – the kind of popcorn for your brain that Nicolas Cage and Hollywood are well known for. Then as some point in the film it changes genre from the straight forward thriller/action to supernatural/science fiction and the film becomes a mind-blowing almost Biblical experience.
Whilst some viewers might have trouble with the latter half of the film, I found it incredibly interesting, a modern retelling of an age-old prophecy.
The first part of the film is a straightforward thriller slash action story that will keep most people happy, but then knowing switches direction and almost goes the way of the latest Indiana Jones film – at least that what I predict a lot of people will think. But if you put your preconceptions aside, take a leap of faith, then Knowing manages to go from popcorn flick to a film that forces you to think about such lofty themes and pre-determination vs random chance, and if you’re brave enough may even cause you to consider the origins of life.
Heading deep into spoiler country now. I mentioned before that Knowing was almost a ‘Biblical experience’ by which I was referring to the parallels it has with certain parts of the Bible. You’ll have to have seen the film to really understand the relevance of what’s coming up.
1. Whispers to children
In 1 Samuel 3, there is an account where God whispers to the boy Samuel, a future prophet. Eli, an adult priest, is in the room right next to him, but does not hear the voice of God. This may be where the idea of “whispers” being spoken directly into the ears of “chosen children,” came from.
2. Ezekiel’s Wheel and the calling of Prophets
Ezekiel chapter 1 gives a pretty close description of what happens at the end of the film:
I looked: I saw an immense dust storm come from the north, an immense cloud with lightning flashing from it, a huge ball of fire glowing like bronze. Within the fire were what looked like four creatures vibrant with life. Each had the form of a human being, but each also had four faces and four wings. Their legs were as sturdy and straight as columns, but their feet were hoofed like those of a calf and sparkled from the fire like burnished bronze. On all four sides under their wings they had human hands. All four had both faces and wings, with the wings touching one another…
The four creatures looked like a blazing fire, or like fiery torches. Tongues of fire shot back and forth between the creatures, and out of the fire, bolts of lightning. The creatures flashed back and forth like strikes of lightning.
As I watched the four creatures, I saw something that looked like a wheel on the ground beside each of the four-faced creatures. This is what the wheels looked like: They were identical wheels, sparkling like diamonds in the sun. It looked like they were wheels within wheels, like a gyroscope…
Over the heads of the living creatures was something like a dome, shimmering like a sky full of cut glass, vaulted over their heads.
The verse describes very closely an etching that Lucinda was said to have stared at for hours on end in the film:
3. The Numbers
There is a popular theory, which claims that Bible contains numerical codes that, when decoded, foretell significant cultural events. This could be the idea behind Proyas’ use of numbers as a prophesying device. If angels were to have dictated the Bible to human prophets, one could imagine this being one way in which that could have happened.
4. The Destruction of the Earth by Fire and the Creation of a New Earth
There is precedence in the Bible for the destruction of Earth by fire (Revelation 14:18, 2 Peter 3:7) and the creation of a new Earth (Revelation 21:1, 2 Peter 3:13). Of course, the Bible presents these things in a much more cryptic and allegorical way.
Reviewed by: Jonathan Read
Rating: [M] Supernatural themes
Released on: October 14th, 2009
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Rose Byrne, Chandler Canterbury, D.G. Maloney, Lara Robinson, Nadia Townsend, Alan Hopgood, Adrienne Pickering, Danielle Carter, Ben Mendelsohn, Gareth Yuen, Lesley Anne Mitchell, Liam Hemsworth
Length (Minutes): 125
Aspect Ratio: 2.35 : 1
Supported Audio: DTS Digital Surround 5.1
Director: Proyas, Alex