The Sixth Sense

The Sixth Sense is a movie worth watching purely for the fairly unpredictable twist at the end of the film. However, you need to sit through an hour or so of slow film-making before you get to the clever bit.

Child psychologist Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis) is about get it on with his wife, to celebrate an award he just received, when he is shot by one of his former patients (who immediately takes his own life). Crowe blames himself for failing the patient, and his career takes a downward turn as he alienates his wife. He soon finds a chance to make amends when he run across a small boy who displays the same psychiatric symptoms his former patient did. This time, Crowe is determined to set things right.

Crowe meets with the boy, Cole Sear (Haley Joel Osment), and begins his therapy. But the boy's problems may be too much even for Crowe to handle: Cole seems to see ghosts of dead people who want him to do things for them as a form of closure.

Most of the film is about the interplay between Cole and Crowe, and how they both win each other's trust in order to solve their individual problems. The acting is pretty decent. I was particularly impressed by Osment's performance, and Willis gives a solid performance as usual. There is a substantial amount of character development. A few mild thrills are thrown in which liven things up, but not enough to overcome the slow pacing.

The way The Sixth Sense is presented is what makes it so cool, and this is completely non-obvious when watching the film for the first time. Looking back on the film, it's like trying to differentiate one of those pictures which can be viewed two different ways (you know, the one where if you think one way, it looks like a curvy young girl and the other way it looks like the face of an old lady). And it's a credit to the film makers that they do pull off a scenario where the audience is forced to look back and think about the film again. Worth renting.

Movie ram-blings || Ram Samudrala ||