Examine the way that two scenes from ‘The Sixth Sense’


Personally the whole look and mannerisms of him to me didn’t suggest anything to be strange. When Cole first sees Malcolm whilst talking to his mother at the beginning of the scene he is aware that Malcolm is in the room and is almost, when his mother leaves the room, seems scared of Malcolm. Whilst Malcolm is playing the mind game with Cole the camera switches between Coles face and his legs. At the beginning of the game his legs are very tense but by the end of the game his legs are more relaxed.

This shows us that Malcolm is able to make him feel a bit more comfortable which is totally normal behaviour for a psychiatrist, getting you to relax so that you will open up. A final part of the scene is when Cole delivers the line towards Malcolm “you will never be able to help me”. The way it is filmed and delivered it could be perceived as abuse towards Malcolm from Cole which if you are a psychiatrist you probably get most days from clients. Because we know what happens at the end of the film it takes on a different meaning.

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The line may have been written to suggest that Cole knows something more than the viewer does about Malcolm about whether he is a psychiatrist and what he really is doing there almost as if Cole knows more about Malcolm than Malcolm does himself. The First scene of the two can and is taken one of two ways. The most important feature that makes the belief real is the way that the film has been directed. Without the little details in the scriptwriting and filming, in my opinion, would be a boring story line that has no real meaning.

This scene isn’t the most important of the scenes within the film but has importance because it is one of the first scenes that lead to clues and subtle hints that Malcolm isn’t who he is. The second scene has the same high quality and dramatic technique as the first scene. This scene is set in an Italian restaurant. The storyline within the scene is that Malcolm and Anna are having a meal but Malcolm turns up to the restaurant late, which Anna doesn’t seem to be too impressed by.

Like all of the scenes there is a lot of camerawork that affects the way that we are able to view the film and in some parts without a direct view of a character we have to interpret what is happening for ourselves. An innocent mistake is made when Malcolm turns up at the restaurant late. The restaurant is full of people with the table has wife Anna is sitting at centred in the screen which has an empty space with the chair facing at a slight angle to the table, we make the presumption is for Malcolm to sit on when he arrives.

Again there is a subtle twist in the direction of the film in that when Malcolm does enter the restaurant not one person looks up at or acknowledges him even though he weaves through the tables at some speed. If you went to an Italian restaurant as grand as that you are normally escorted to your table and seated or at the least are greeted by a waiter asking you if you want to order anything. If he was late though and could see his wife he may have said that he knows where he is going and doesn’t need showing to his table.

The next point is that when he gets to the table that his wife is sitting at she has already eaten her meal and the table is only laid for one person. This could mean that either she was alone or that she requested that his side of the table was to be removed, as she didn’t think that he was going to make it to the dinner. The strange part is that nobody approaches her to see if she wants the table re-laid.

The reference that Malcolm makes in his apology to Anna about the other Italian restaurant is Malcolm’s way of trying the enlighten the situation buy using it as an integrated excuse and apology whilst at the same time trying the make her smile. When he sits down at the table Malcolm straight away starts talking about his day at work. He refers to the case and how he had previously worked on it that gives the viewer some reassurance that he is still alive and that he is a psychiatrist because he has worked on the case before. By this time Malcolm has verbal diarrhoea.

Anna, His wife, doesn’t acknowledge him at first, in the remaining part of the scene it becomes unclear of where she is looking because of the angle of the camera. The way the it is being positioned behind her looking towards Malcolm blocks out her face which means that we are unable to see her facial expression. When the camera pans back round she looks in the direction of Malcolm but doesn’t physically acknowledge him. The film is directed in such a way that it is being portrayed that she is upset and has gone into a bad mood because he is late and that she Is deliberately ignoring him.

The fact that he doesn’t stop talking about work makes the conversation look very one sided which after he has turned up late would really help matters. It is giving the audience the impression that he is very involved in his work and takes his work very seriously, another factor that shows how he is being portrayed as being alive. It isn’t until the end of this second scene when a line is said which is crucial to the scene and gives the scene a meaning. By the time he arrives to the restaurant she has already finished her meal and has requested the bill.

Bear in mind that the direction has portrayed her in a mood that her next actions seem believable and are able to be applied to a real life situation. When the bill arrives on the table he automatically lunges forward for it to pay but as he goes for the grab she takes it. As she is in a strop she could have snatched it in anger then paid for it and left. Another theory is that because she has not acknowledged or spoke to him all the while he has been there, has she even seen him? If he isn’t who he says he is, or even there.

When it turns out that he is dead if you were able to replay the scene without Malcolm in it you would be able to find a different way of looking at it. Her husband is dead and it is a memorial dinner, nobody sees him because he’s a ghost and she snatches the bill because she is upset. Looking at it from the perspective that he is still alive when she says the final line of the scene ‘happy anniversary’ it could be proof that they were married. The tone of voice that is used to deliver the line is as if she is upset or angry.

It would refer to their relationship which they would have if they are alive and with the little references to the past make the scene and make the audience believe that Malcolm is still alive that more realistic. The location of the filming of this scene plays a big part in making the audience believe that Malcolm is alive. The way of filming it in a large public place with humans and people going out for meals makes it more real apposed to filming it at home in the kitchen. It gives the scene at the beginning a sense that something romantic is going to happen with the laid table and the up market restaurant.

You don’t associate ghosts being in large public places, you’d more associate them with dark dingy houses with cobwebs etc. Comparing the two scenes to draw a conclusion the scenes are very good at making the audience believes that he is still alive. When I watched the film through for the first time, not being the sort of person that looks closely at the film, I did believe that he was alive. I was one of the people that didn’t get the twist in the story until the very end. The scenes are significant in the film in two ways, for the people watching the first time and for the people who are watching the film for the second time.

The scenes have two totally different meanings once you have watched the film all the way through and it seems very obvious second time round. As a film as a whole I don’t personally find it scary and wouldn’t class it as a scary film but it is very cleverly made and scripted. The line that I think explains the film and the funny goings on the best is when Cole and his mother are sitting in the traffic after the car crash. Coles mother asks Cole why no one else can see the ghosts to which he replies ‘they only see what they want to see’.


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