Thursday, March 26, 2009

Knowing: Movie Review

Warning: Spioler!


Last Friday we went out to see the movie Knowing for Red's birthday. We seriously are still talking about it. Maybe it's the study we've been attending on Revelation or just my obsession with the supernatural...I like to analyze movies and see how people view God at work.

One major issue the movie brings up is prophecy. The "whisperers" give the children glimpses into the future. They don't explain the images they show them or what the numbers are for, but their meanings are found later in the movie. Theologically speaking, most prophets in the Bible weren't taken seriously. People heard what they wanted to when prophets spoke are simply didn't believe a word they said. So when Nicolas Cage's character, John, discovers the meaning of the pattern of numbers, it's no surprise that people (the FBI) ignore his warnings.

Along with that subject comes the thought: "Is it better to know or not to know?" If there's nothing you can do to stop your own or another's death, is there any benefit in knowing when it will happen?

Another issue brought up is free will. There are two disasters yet to happen mentioned in the series of numbers. John shows up to one and saves a woman and her baby, but the number of those left dead is still the same as what was foretold, 81. It's as if the people who gave Lucinda the series of numbers knew that John would figure the numbers out and attempt to prevent the deaths. (Hmmm!) The writers must have pondered on the subject of free will. Although, just because God knows something is going to happen doesn't mean that we don't have a choice in creating such an outcome. John still had to make the choice to try to be a hero. Also, Diana was haunted with the date her mother told her she would die and it still didn't prevent her death. It didn't make her over-precautious when the children were taken from her.

One of the parts of the movie that Red and I have been debating is the end. Up until this point, the "whisperers" can be seen as demons or angels, but are clearly discovered to be aliens, whose departure represents the picture Lucinda had kept. The aliens then drop off the kids on a new world in a field with a huge tree in the middle. To us comes the question of it representing the tree of the knowledge of good and evil or the tree of life. Optimistically, I'd like to say they were dropped of in paradise, skipping the death the numbers foretold. If it were to represent the tree of good and evil, they would still eat the fruit and then what was the purpose of Christ coming? Would he have to come again for the new world?

The moral choice in the end was interesting as well. The aliens wouldn't just take the children but the children had to come willingly. On top of that, Nicholas Cage's character, John, needed to make the choice to encourage his son to go so that his son could live. In doing so he had to make the choice of believing in the afterlife. Theologically: just because he died believing there is a heaven doesn't mean he's going to heaven. Also, if you and your son believe in heaven, why encourage him to go off with aliens, who, in every other movie, take humans to perform tests on. Not a good decision in my view...

The movie partially reminded me of the movie Signs. The husband loses his wife and in the process loses his faith. As he sees God's hand in their life later, he regains his faith.

We enjoyed the humor they threw in when John flips through the manual of hes hand gun when he starts getting serious about protecting his son.

On a not-so-deep subject, I think Nicolas Cage needs to cut his hair. In the past few movies I've seen of him his hair looks fake.

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