“KNOWING” a film Review - A Science Fiction-Mystery Psychological Thriller

Academy Award winner Nicolas Cage steps into the role of Astrophysics Professor John Koestler in the riveting new film “ KNOWING”. This science fiction-mystery psychological thriller, with its many intensely dramatic, endearing and tragic moments, kept me on the edge of my seat; special effects were brilliant, and it poses many questions I carried out of the theater with me.

The movie opens in 1958, when as part of the dedication ceremony for a new elementary school, a group of students is asked to draw pictures of what they think the future will look like. The teacher tells them their drawings will be sealed in a time capsule and stored underground for 50 years. All the children begin to fill their paper with light and happy artwork, but one mysterious girl, named Lucinda fills her paper with rows of apparently random numbers, which she says are being whispered to her by unseen people. The papers are collected and placed in envelopes; the name of the student is written on the outside.

A half century later, a new generation of students unearths and examines the capsule’s contents, and the girl’s cryptic message ends up in the hands of young Caleb Koestler, but it is Caleb’s father John (Nicolas Cage) who, after intense scientific scrutiny, makes a startling discovery; the encoded message predicts the dates, death tolls of every major disaster of the past 50 years with pinpoint accuracy. As he further unravels the document’s secrets, John discovers that it foretells three additional catastrophes … the last of which hints at destruction on a global scale. John’s efforts to alert the authorities about the impending disasters falls on deaf ears and his fears intensify with the realization that his son Caleb is somehow connected to the mystery. Enlisting the help of Diana Whelan (Rose Byrne) and Abby (Lara Robinson), the daughter and granddaughter of the prophetic message’s author, he embarks on a heart-pounding, heart wrenching race against time to prevent the ultimate impending global disaster.

The script is unique and thought provoking; Cage brings an intensity and authenticity to the role of a single parent (his wife recently died in a hotel fire while on a business trip) desperately trying to defend his only child from forces beyond his control.

Ten year old Lara Robinson takes on two challenging roles, one as Lucinda, the sad, scary and weird little girl in 1958 who sets the plot in motion by feverishly filling a drawing page with numbers rather than a picture. She later plays Lucinda’s fun and normal granddaughter Abby, who inherits her grandmother’s ability to hear whispering voices, and is one of the keys to solving the mystery.

The young actor, who plays Caleb Koestler, nine year old Chandler Canterbury, does not come across on screen as a child actor but as a real character, a challenge producer Blumenthal faced in casting the part. Lara and Chandler make the roles believable and poignant.

Action packed with intrigue and human disasters, “ Knowing” touches the lives of all humanity. It’s the ultimate of what we would all do to protect our child. This emotional roller coaster has Cage running through a New York subway trying to discover and thwart a pending disaster; he chases a homeless man, thinking he is hiding explosives under his coat; it is only a book he stole. The actual catastrophe takes place when the train gets out of control, crashes through barriers and explodes, hurling people all over the streets.

Director Alex Proyas succeeds in finding a balance between over-the-top action, human interaction, high tech visual effects and the emotional journey of his characters. Reality is what this story is all, about. Everything that unfolds in the movie could actually happen.

“Knowing” is one of the first feature films to be shot with the red One Camera, the latest lightweight high resolution digital technology. Simon Duggin, the film’s director of photography, was able to use the technique to present the story with a unique new look. They were able to turn what once was science fiction into science fact.

To quote Cage “it definitely is a movie that has the ability to change people’s minds; the end of the world are on people’s minds; we have the power to do it to ourselves; the question is what do you do with that responsibility”?

Starring Nicolas Cage, Rose Byrne, Chandler Canterbury and Lara Robinson

Producers: Jason Blumenthal & Todd Black
Director: Alex Proyas

You can see more here:
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