Knowing


Directed by: Alex Proyas
Written by:Ryne Pearson, Juliet Snowden, Stiles White, Stuart Hazeldine
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Chandler Canterbury, Rose Byrne, Ben Mendelsohn, Lara Robinson, Phil Beckman
Released: March 26, 2009
Grade: C

John Koestler (Cage) is an astrophysicist who works at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. One day, his young son, Caleb (Canterbury), brings home a very strange looking letter. It’s from a time capsule buried at his school 50 years ago. Each child was given a letter from the capsule and it was supposed to contain an image drawn by the students from 1959 showing what they think the future would look like.

Caleb’s letter contains nothing but numbers. John shrugs it off as some silly hoax but late one night over a few wines, he takes a closer look. There is no randomness about this piece of paper. It contains the date of every major natural disaster since 1959 as well as the number of people killed. How could this be possible? How could someone have predicted this?

Even scarier is the fact that there are only a handful of disasters on the letter which are yet to occur. What happens when we reach the last one? Will it be the end of mankind?

This sets John on a quest to make meaning of this. Is there a reason why he came into possession of this document? His first step is to try to track down Lucinda Embry, the person who wrote the letter, and find out what is going on…

There’s a lot about the story that I can’t divulge because this is a thriller-type movie and I don’t want to spoil it for those interested. I will say that the film, and particularly its ending, will divide audiences. There are two subjects which are always a "hot potato" when it comes to cinema – politics and religion. This film deals with the later and as I’ve already alluded to, it won’t sit well with everyone.

I admit to not liking it. The premise itself is interesting but I was left disappointed by the finale. I also thought the acting was dreadful. The dialogue was stiff and I’d like to think that if I was in the same position as John, I’d do things a lot differently.

There’s an Australian connection to the film as it has been directed by Alex Proyas (Dark City) and co-stars Rose Byrne (Troy) and Ben Mendelsohn (Australia). Their talent is not enough to save what was an extremely lacklustre two hours of my life.