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The Sixth Sense (1999) is an American production which caused a great impact on the audience, being the best film by screenwriter and film director M. Night Shyamalan.
Shyamalan’s The Sixth Sense stands out because of its simple shots, because of its simple but at the same time complex story, and because of the excellent main characters. Apart from Bruce Willis, the movie stars Haley Joel Osment, who has made maybe the greatest performance ever by a child actor. “The 11-year-old Osment evokes the boy’s terror and awful predicament so memorably, you’ll never forget him” (Desson Howe, 1999)
The story begins with Bruce Willis in the role of Dr. Malcolm Crowe. Crowe is a child’s psychologist who lives completely to his job, and despite his great achievements he is obsessed with the painful memory of a young patient he was unable to help. Several months later, Crowe has a chance to help Cole (Haley Joel Osment), a terrified and confused eleven year old boy whose background reminds him of his only case failed. Meanwhile, Crowe’s private life is a mess, and his marriage with Anna (Olivia Williams) turns out to be a cold and a distant relationship, and he cannot do anything to solve it.
“The Sixth Sense has a kind of calm, sneaky self-confidence that allows it to take us down a strange path, intriguingly” (Roger Ebert, 1999). Its powerful atmosphere and also the narrative way in which it is written, makes the film have like a second dimension. A second dimension where Shyamalan shows the audience the pure essence of fears and how terror makes people blocked and unable to find a solution. And everything is set up in places where the tension and the suspense are quite important. “Writer-director M. Night Shyamalan lets the tension rise slowly, leads you everywhere you don’t expect, doesn’t rip you off and totally freaks you out – all without stale effects or gone” (John Patterson, L.A. Weekly)
There are some different topics the film is about, such as a lonely childhood, the difficulty of being a single mother, and the frustration of losing a marriage because of one’s job. But it is also a film where nothing is what it seems to be, being the fear the main topic of the whole film. The film shows things adults cannot see. It is said that children are better than adults at seeing ghosts. Cole’s problem is that he can see dead people everywhere, but they don’t even know they are dead and they cannot see each other. And the solution for all the topics given before is communication. Communication with the family, friends and also with strangers.
In conclusion, The Sixth Sense is an extraordinary suspense drama and a psychological thriller developed in an extraordinary way. It also has one of the best endings in the history of thrillers.
Desson Howe (1999) A Chillingly Intense ‘Sense’ At: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/style/movies/reviews/sixthsensehowe.htm Accessed on: 17/04/2016
Roger Ebert (1999) The Sixth Sense At: http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/the-sixth-sense-1999 Accessed on: 17/04/2016
Stephen Holden (1999) A Boy Who Sees the Dead, and a Psychologist Determined Not to Fail Him At: http://www.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9802E3DB1430F935A3575BC0A96F958260 Accessed on: 17/04/2016
Image 1. The Sixth Sense Poster At: http://www.fanpop.com/clubs/the-sixth-sense/images/36136397/title/sixth-sense-poster-photo Accessed on: 17/04/2016
Image 2. Cole and Crowe talking At: http://whatsonnetflix.com/what-to-watch/the-sixth-sense/ Accessed on: 17/04/2016