I see a pretty fair number of movies but I mostly don’t talk about them here. I figure there’s plenty of places you can go to read a movie review, so that isn’t what Unscriptured is about. However, once in a while I see a movie that gives me insight into one of the things that Unscriptured is about. This week was one of those times.
I saw Knowing this week. Let me warn you right now, this post is going to contain spoilers, so if you don’t like it when secret things about a movie are given away, you’d better stop reading now. I’ll try and be gentle about how we get to the ending, but I’m definitely going to blow a lot about the ending.
You’ve been warned.
Anyway, “Knowing,” right up front that’s a pretty good title for something religious, though the movie isn’t overtly religious. It hints at angels and it’s one of those Adam and Eve origin sort of stories, although it is a little more oblique about it than usual. Anyway, there’s these guys, these “whisperers,” and while you don’t need to know the specifics about them for my point, you do need to know that they aren’t strictly human and they are the source of the secret information that Knowing is driven by.
And they’re no better with their knowledge than the typical villain in any number of intricately conceived films where they give away their whole plan with just enough time for the hero to bring it all crashing down. Only they do sort of the opposite. They start giving out their information fifty years before it’s needed and dole it out so obscurely that it takes a guy that is smart enough to teach hard sciences at MIT until pretty nearly the last minute to figure it out and do the right thing. I mean, they can whisper psychically to a child with such magical skill that the kid will write a nonstop stream of digits across both sides of a piece of paper without a single transcription error, but they can’t just say to anybody, hey here’s what’s going to happen, would you like to hear what we think should be done about it.
So I was bitching about this to God when it hit me. These are the guys that wrote the Bible. Or rather, the writers of Knowing, there are five of them, are the same sort of people that must have written the Bible. They give a lot of obscure information, tell people to do things without telling them why, then when the people figure out why, they tell them that it’s up to them to decide to do the right thing, they won’t make them do it. It’s more about the game of telling than it is about what there actually is to say.
It’s enough to make you scream.