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  Re: My problem with The Sixth Sense...  
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• Posted by Smalltown_Poets
• Date: Tuesday, July 25, 2006, at 8:21 p.m.
• IP Address:
• In Response to: Re: My problem with The Sixth Sense... (C. Hook)

> So? If we can make exceptions for people with mental disorders (real
> people) to deviate from the behavior and thought process you described, we
> can make exceptions for ghosts. It's only fair. I mean, the kid with half
> his skull blown off doesn't know he's dead, why should the good doctor?
> Throw-up girl does know, but hey, no two ghosts are alike. The assumption
> that Willis' character thinks and experiences the world the same way the
> living do simply because he does normal, living dude stuff from time to
> time was made by you.

What? It's my problem that I can't accept the film's internal inconsistencies? Poison girl knows she's dead but he doesn't? He obviously thinks he's very real and alive or it wouldn't be a huge revelation to him that he's really dead! He's not just doing "normal, living dude stuff" but actively using his mental resources in a real world environment, observing and comprehending input as a frakkin' psychiatrist while trying to help the kid. I mean, he figures out he's dead by using his reasoning! Had his capacity for rational thought been faulty until that point? If you're a ghost for a certain amount of time your capacity to think comes back? Did his mind suddently "turn on?"

And another thing (perhaps this can be explained, but I don't remember how): why is it never cold or whatever when Bruce is around? Is it really the kid controlling the weather and since he thinks Bruce is real the temperature doesn't go down? Maybe this is an X-Men Prequel and he's a mutant. But now I'm just getting silly.

> I'm not a Shyamalan apologist, but I do kind of get hung up on people who:
> 1) Think the ending makes the movie and 2) Challenge what the movie does
> not say or explain and holds it responsible for it, even though it's not
> the point of the film (and its lack thereof does not interfere with the
> rest of the screenplay) and with a little imagination can be resolved.

No, you see I DON'T typically think that the ending makes a movie. But: 1) That is the way I definitely feel Night and co set up the movie, as evidenced by interviews with the filmmakers themsevles. I've not seen the special features recent enough to give specific quotes and examples, but I got the impression from the filmmakers themselves the movie is basically about the twist. When I first watched the movie on VHS there was an actual freakin' documentary at the end (on the VHS!) about how amazingly proud they were of the twist ending I had just seen. Right after the credits end, the filmmakers show up and barrage me about how they negotiated how many clues to leave, contrived around obvious problems like covering up Bruce's bullet wound, etc. THEY'RE the ones telling me how they want me to look at their film. And 2) what about looking at it without the twist? I think it's an okay supernatural thriller with good performances with a tad too much sap. With the twist, I feel one of the main characters is rendered an idiot upon subsequent viewings. Either way, it's not a great film to me.

I do want to say I actually agree with the you about the ending not making a movie, and think that perhaps more people would have enjoyed his films since if not so obsessed over "What's the twist? What's the twist?" I usually just sit back and take in a film without actively trying to forsee twist and turns. But you can't erase your memory (though maybe you can...if your a ghost!), and now upon viewing The Sixth Sense every time I see Bruce Willis I think "man, that's one daft fellow."

But I think that's all I have to say; I don't really want to continue into a longer debate about such a film. I doubt I'll see the film again (though if I do, I will try to be open-minded, as usual) and I am quite reticient to prod you too much as I've see how vehement you can get when defending films you like (cough *Spielberg* cough). Unless you've got a lot of stress you need to siphon off with a good rant, then by all means, let me have it. What are friends for?


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