Sunday, September 20, 2009

A decade long path from Dark City

Knowing (2009, USA/UK, Alex Proyas)

Note: Spoiler Alert -- key details about Dark City and Knowing are mentioned.

More than a decade ago, the brilliant Dark City showed a world where humans were the guinea pigs of an alien experiment. The film was smart and offered plenty of intriguing ideas about memories and human psychology.

11 years later, Alex Proyas returns with an end of the world sci-fi film with a key alien presence. As per the film, it is aliens who shepherd humans through the cycle of destruction and recreation. The aliens serve as angels in charge of ensuring that the cycle of life continues as per the Bible. While the film only focuses on one young Adam-Eve couple in charge of starting the birth of the planet from scratch, it also indicates that multiple couples might share the burden. Earth's destruction is quite beautifully done and "the end" does not feel like a finale. Instead, it appears as the board has been cleared completely so that a future recreation can take place.

I was pleasantly surprized by Knowing. I had mistakenly believed the film would be another run of the mill destruction film but it is much better than Hollywood's regular nonsense. Knowing is a decent watch even though it is not nowhere as good as Dark City. Interestingly both films form a bond due to the alien presence. In Dark City, the humans are not shown to be taken by the aliens, whereas in Knowing the transport of the humans is depicted. The aliens in Dark City use their minds as weapons but it is the mouth that serves as the weapon in Knowing (whispers and also for blinding light). Both sets of aliens from the two films wear trench coats but in Knowing, the aliens don't need a hat as they have a full set of hair. So clearly the aliens in both films are from different planets :) Maybe, another decade later Alex Proyas will present a third installment of an alien film. So let this blog entry serve as a time capsule in that regard.

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