Malcolm Crane - Bruce Willis
Cole Sear - Haley Joel Osment
Mrs. Sear - Toni Collette
Mrs. Crane - Olivia Williams
Directors: M. Night ShyamalanPreviews: The Insider($$1/2), Mumford ($), The Bone Collector ($$$$), Fight Club ($$1/2), Jakob The Liar ($1/2) Note: Ratings on previews are based upon how much it makes me want to see the movie, and/or how well done it is in my opinion.
Those chilling words, from the lips of young Haley Joel Osment, drew most of us into the theater, and towards this curiously mysterious film. I had little idea what it was about, but it looked interesting. I was in no way prepared for what I saw.
One of my favorite artists is the French impressionist Claude Monet. His paintings are captivating, but the true genius is not seen until you look closer at them, see that they are nothing more than simple brush strokes. However, when you step back, and see the whole picture, a masterpiece appears before you. His painting style is good allegory for life. If we look at the small picture, we may miss a lot, but when we step back and take it all in, something amazing can truly appear. This happens in movies when you do not really see where a movie is going, or what it is doing, until its conclusion. In The Sixth Sense, you have to see the whole thing, before you can pass any kind of judgment on it. If you over analyze it, or try to judge or gauge it before taking it all in, you could be, and in this case would be, missing something wonderful and amazing. This movie requires a bit of patience, but your patience is paid for in the conclusion, an ending that makes you think about what youve seen, and look back and reanalyze what you saw and expected.
The trailer tells what the movie takes over half of its running time to. Yes, we know something that the characters in the movie doesn't. I was prepared to rant, and rave about that in this review, when all of a sudden, and for the second time in a month, I was blind-sided by an ending. Now, everything that had been said, and everything that had been done, suddenly made perfect sense. The reasons why things were done the way they were, everything that I had been a tad frustrated with, and ready to criticize
The story's set is up slow yet deliberate, in its detailed introduction of Bruce Williss character, a child psychologist with a rocky marriage, and Haley Joel Osments character, a troubled child with expressive eyes, and a seemingly wild imagination. All through the film, I was captivated by the performance of young Osment. Heretofore known as Forrest Gump Jr., this young actor makes a breakthrough performance here, with his innocent face, yet eyes full of emotion, and torment. His range is amazing, going from the jubilance of childhood, to the pain of someone given a gift that they really do not want. This role required a great deal of differing emotions, and Osment covers them all. Most are expressed in his eyes, which are truly the windows to his pain, fear and torment within. He not only holds his own, but steals this movie from the capable hands of Willis and Collette. He was the glue that held me watching, and boy am I glad I did. I can see gold statues in his future, this is his first step towards greatness, I just hope that the short-sighted Academy members can remember his name come February.
Great lengths are taken to tell us every aspect, and draw us into caring about the characters, the child, his mother, Williss character, his wife, their troubles. I wondered, why are they doing this, I know the secret, the kid sees and hears dead people. Its in the trailer, its in the notes and synopsis over the movie. Heck, its even promoted in the teasers and posters. So why, I asked, was the movie taking so long to tell us, give us the story, give us some chills, wrap it up nice and neat thank you please drive safely. Then we are strung out, teased with what we know. I was frustrated, but in retrospect, it was a masterful stroke of filmmaking because it kept the audience watching, waiting, on the edge of our seats. We awaited the inevitable, and with each passing moment, each layer of tension, each step farther into the character's mind, and then, the trap is finally sprung. The movie gives us what we expected, the conclusion we expected, but then, something amazing happens. Usually, when a movie goes on beyond a seemingly obvious conclusion I get angry, feeling that well enough should have been left alone. However here, I had the breath taken away from me by the conclusion. Had that ending not come as it did though, the movie still wouldve been good, The way it makes you care about the characters, and the story enough not to rush. The way it does not feel the need to use elaborate effects to give us chills, and the way that it works more as a ghost story told from the eyes of a child, rather than a hokey dead/living crossover tale. I am sorry that it took until after the film for this painting of a movie to come into focus for me. This is one that I will see again, and I recommend that you do too. See it, be patient and pay attention believe me, it will be worth it. This one belongs up there with the great scary/suspense movies of modern times, and I will say it now, say it again, and say it loud. Please, dear Academy members, remember young Mr. Osments name come Oscar time, he definitely gives the most worthy performance that I have seen this year. ($$$1/2 of $$$$)
Actor and movie information courtesy of theInternet Movie Database