It is a given that any fan of puzzles, quizzes and riddles are to some extent also a fan of numbers and many of its application. Widely accepted (and enshrined in many sci-fis) as the very foundation of the universe itself, numbers often used in cryptography and the likes and it’s a quite an effective tool (not to mention, easiest tool) to bring the excitement of prophecies, mysteries, and the likes into the works of fiction.
The trailer that precedes “Knowing” promises these excitements. Nic Cage gets his hand on a sheet of paper buried in a Time Capsule by a schoolgirl fifty years prior. On this sheet of paper is a series of number that he translates into an accurate prediction of disasters that occurred in the last fifty years. There are several numbers on the paper that hinted disasters yet to come. The trailer closes when we see Nic Cage, in the middle of the rain, while a plane came crashing down in the background.
Although visually appealing, “Knowing” spent too much time lingering in the development. Given the pace, I’d say that there are substantial parts of the film that was left unused in the editing room. Nicolas Cage is Professor Koesler, a single-father who’d give anything for his kid’s well-being (though I don’t buy it. It’s the script that says he loves his kid not his act). After he possesses the previously mentioned sheet of paper and figuring out what the numbers really about, he (too) quickly jumps into conclusion for apparently without solid ground of reasoning but more for the sake of the scripts and excuse to show a CGI enhanced visual pleasure (which is, for the record, awesome – for the first scene). His investigation finally led him to the daughter of the original script’s perpetrator. Her role, in my opinion, is neglectible for the most part, although fortunately, the romance part between the two is justly ignored. Together, along with their respective children, they investigate the script’s origin and one thing led to another, found disclosures to the mystery.
“Knowing” graces a lot of intriguing aspect. Fate, predetermism, and randomness. However, during the first of many red herrings involving Professor Koesler’s son, I had a vague impression of where the film is headed and didn’t like the prospect. Before long, I kept telling myself, “No, please, no, don’t go there.” But it did. And even if some people (judged by their expressions as they leave the theater) found some love to its conclusion, and ending, I wasn’t impressed. The allegorical reference is simply lost for me. That, and the ending also requires some sort of connection with Nic Cage’s character in which I found none. However, the visual appeal on the first scene is awesome. This is largely because the scene elevates a certain ‘sort-of’ phobia that I had. I was gripping my wife’s arm during this scene.
My rating: **1/2 / **** Visually appealing, big ideas, but its execution is rather sloppy and too rushed. Alex Proyas in my opinion is a better-than-average director but I’d say, even a best director could only made an average film from an incoherent script.