It’s currently Jan 18, 2016, 3:20 AM and I just finished watching this 1999 film by M. Night Shyamalan. I have never heard of this writer/director before and had never heard of this film until a few hours ago when I stumbled upon it on Netflix. The title pulled me in as I am somebody who also experiences an extra sense of unexplainable perception throughout my lifetime, commonly known as the sixth sense. I don’t see dead people however, I just have vivid dreams about the past and future that often times become relevant in my ordinary reality. I have also accessed other realms of existence in this dimension but that’s a story for another day.
The film was not exactly what I had in mind but lured me in and kept me interested every passing second of this 107 minute drama starring Bruce Willis and Haley Joel Osment. An alluring story about a frightened little boy that see’s more than he is capable of communicating. A child psychologist played by Willis, attempts to help this boy by acting like the father figure the boy lacks in his life, attending his school plays and sharing intimate moments until the boy trusts him enough to share a secret. I finally know where this famous line comes from; “I see dead people”. Haley Joel Osment’s acting was so above average it brought tears to my eyes. M Night Shyamalan’s writing was so good, I appreciated every small detail that was carefully constructed to fit the puzzle pieces of this intricate story-line, such as fore-shadowing of the twists, and use of puppets to send a message beyond the television screen.
Cinematography, editing, sound and lighting were on point but the film is far from being a masterpiece. It is simple and complex and deserves to be praised for its quality, but I was not completely satisfied as a spectator. Perhaps spectators are never truly satisfied with anything they watch, specially as a former film student that was thought to over-analyze everything and question the intentions of the entire production from actors to filmmakers to mise en scene and even off-screen sound effects. I kind of wished they never showed any of the “dead” people on screen, as that took away from the experience of being on the other side. Not being able to see what this child is clearly haunted by would have had a stronger impact on the viewers imagination. Perhaps the grimy bloody horror scenes does satisfy a certain audience but personally it was not my cup of tea, as far as a psychological drama goes, but I did enjoy the twist at the end which I will not spoil for those who have yet to watch this film. Its currently 4:00am and I can’t believe this darn movie has kept me up in such a way that it has . In a way, its a good thing to be so influenced to a point where I had to share my thoughts on this film blog, though I know I will be waking up early tomorrow and this may have not been the best idea for late night indulgence. If you are reading this and are curious to watch this film, do yourself a favour and do not put it on past midnight or you will end up not getting much sleep.