Knight and Day , starring Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz, opens on our hero Roy Miller. He’s hanging around an airport terminal and appears to be looking for someone. Suddenly, we zoom in on the girl, June Havens. She’s a regular stand out, and not in an attractive way. She stumbles into the door wrestling with the big heavy suitcase behind her. Roy makes his move and literally runs into her… twice.
All the while, we don’t know anything about this man; why he’s there, who he’s looking for, or where he’s going. Even more so, we wonder, why did he choose her? What were his motivations on meeting this girl? What compels him to keep her alive?
The screenwriter and director do an excellent job in keeping this compelling mystery throughout the story whereas most of the character point of view comes through her eyes. It begs the question. Why should she trust this man? Or more importantly, why doesn’t she trust him?
After the plane crash, he gives her clear, specific instructions on what to do next. He predicts every move and warns her about the signs, which all come true. Instead of heading his warning, she does everything he tells her not to do.
It is not until after she loses him does she realize that she should have trusted him. He keeps his promise to keep her alive and get her home for her sister’s wedding. However, she finds that she cannot cope with her normal life anymore. Roy had too profound an effect on her from the time he first bumped into her to the time he falls into the river.
Yet, the question remains. Why does he feel so compelled to save her? The answer is so simple, we nearly miss it. “Because he liked me,” says June. That’s all there is to it. He likes June. There was no complex reason or no self-serving motivation. He saves her life, just because it is what he wants to do.