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JohnRice

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JohnRice, I wanted to say all of that but was struggling with finding the right words. Excellent post!
Thanks. I love this movie, and I've watched it many times & thought about it a lot through the years. The fact is, I like this interpretation so much, that if it's wrong, I don't want to know it. I don't care. It's what the movie means to me and anything different will only diminish it.
 

Josh Steinberg

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I remember renting this movie solely for the sake of making fun of it. I thought the trailer was pretty bad, and I didn't realize that Alex Proyas (Dark City, The Crow) was the director. I said to myself, "I want to watch a bad movie about numbers and laugh at it." And then I started the movie, and I found myself instantly captivated. It took on heavy subject matter and didn't run from the implications of that subject - it followed the story to its natural conclusion in a way that I felt most filmmakers would shy away from. It had the courage of its convictions. I came away completely impressed and wound up buying the Blu-ray.

The only problem was, I still wanted to watch a bad movie about numbers. So I then watched "The Number 23" with Jim Carrey and that was indeed a bad movie about numbers.
 

JohnRice

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Josh, I agree...

I was glad to see a disaster movie that truly was catastrophic, and didn't wimp out in the end. Even if it has that light at the end of the tunnel, the destruction was absolute and graphic.

Plus, I'm a huge Beethoven fan, and that's about the most effective use of the 7th Symphony I've ever seen.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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The movie is presented as a mystery, so it doesn't spell out what is happening and who is involved (the icons) the way the novel does. They both have visual icons which are not actually religious, but have become part of religious imagery.
I would argue:
That what's occurring actually is religious, with the caveat that it presents a complex reality behind our monotheistic myths. There is a divine will at work in the movie shaping destinies. The angels are agents of this divine will. But they they used advanced technology to accomplish it, technology that would have seemed mystical thousands of years ago at their last intervention.
 

JohnRice

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Adam, you can adopt that interpretation, because if that is your interpretation, it can also be the interpretation of everything positive (or negative, for that matter) in every story that's ever told. I just choose not to adopt that specific interpretation for the exact same reason. Because it can be used to explain every positive thing in every story ever told, which makes things a bit two dimensional for my tastes. To me, the far more interesting idea from the novel I referenced is...

that the religious perception of the icons (whether it's the giant, horned, red, forked tailed, exoskeletal Overlords in Childhood's End, or the "Angels" in Knowing, doesn't have any intrinsic religious basis. Their image has simply become a religious symbol through the millennia. Of course, I'm supposing that the Whisper People visited early Man with a positive outcome, as opposed to the negative one the Overlords produced. So, the Overlords became an icon of evil, and the Whisper People an icon of good without it necessarily having a religious origin.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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In this specific case, my interpretation is rooted in the idea of predestination. No matter what actions the characters took, the final outcome was preordained. Lucinda, and then later Caleb and Abby, are prophets. The chariot imagery from the Book of Ezekiel threaded throughout foreshadows ascension to God's throne. Even though the movie gets its terminology muddled, the tension inherent in the narrative is whether the universe operates via naturalism, as a series of complex interactions between random occurrences and causality, and some form of intelligent design in which there is a grand design and events in the universe are unfolding according to it. And the ending, to my mind, firmly comes down in the latter camp. The characters possess and exhibit free will, but are ultimately powerless to deviate from the grand plan.
 

Carlo_M

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Went ahead and blind-bought this based on RAH's recommendation and the fact that I'm a huge fan of The Crow and Dark City (one of my favorite all-time movies). I'm willing to overlook Gods of Egypt. :D

Should arrive by the weekend, so I'll be putting my new sub to work it sounds like with this soundtrack.
 

Alan_H

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Like others, I would have preferred a different ending. But I hope all the talk about the ending isn't discouraging people from giving it a try.

IMHO, this is still a very good movie, and I would strongly encourage anyone who hasn't seen it to check it out.
 

theonemacduff

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Well, coming late to the discussion, I have to say I did take the film to be kind of religious, in the sense of thinking about whether a complete determinism necessarily involves some kind of religious framework. It's like time travel adventures in that for time travel to be possible at all, again, you have to buy into a "hard" deterministic view. Philosophically, I don't buy it, but in terms of crafting a narrative, some sort of determinism is probably unavoidable, given that the writer/director/person behind the curtain stands in the position of deity to his/her own creation. Apologies for the vagueness but I too am trying to avoid spoilers. Saw this in the theatre, and got it on BR as soon as it came out. Proyas is nothing if not a visionary.
 

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