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Shyamalan's The Sixth Sense Essay

3645 words - 15 pages

Shyamalan's The Sixth Sense

'With reference to two scenes from Shyamalan's 'The Sixth Sense'
examine the way in which the audiences perception of the film changes
having viewed its dramatic ending. Evaluate the importance of the two
scenes in the film as a whole.'

When the dramatic conclusion of Shyamalan's 'The Sixth Sense' has been
viewed the audiences perception changes. They start to understand how
different techniques have been used to create the illusion that Dr
Malcolm Crowe is alive and how Shyamalan's has duped his audience.
'The Sixth Sense' is initially set up as a thriller before evolving
into a surprisingly touching psychological drama with supernatural
overtones. Shyamalan is able to do this as the typical cinemagoer sees
it as a passive experience and they do not expect to have to think or
work too hard. They would normally expect the plot to be apparent from
near the outset of the film. Other usual expectations are that there
would be very little distraction from the plot so that the viewer
could keep track of what is happening without too much effort. The
viewer sees the directors impression of what is happening and takes on
board the directors views that are shown, thus the audience once again
will not have to concentrate on the plot that hard. They do not
realise how hard Shyamalan has actually made them work until the end
of the film. Shyamalan uses this to his advantage, applying his
cinematography skills to manipulate the audience. The camera work
makes the audience believe they are seeing the truth of the scene and
of the film, when actually the scenes when Dr Malcolm Crowe is present
are not really happening in the way the audience originally perceived
them to be.

This can be seen in many scenes of the film; for example in the scene
when Cole's mother and Crowe await Cole's arrival home form school. It
appears that we have come in in the middle of a scene and any
conversation has already taken place. The tension that is portrayed in
this scene makes the audience feel that Crowe is not welcome and that
is one of the reason why they are sat in silence waiting for Cole. The
positioning of the chairs also makes the viewer think that some form
of communication has taken place. Lynn Sear's body language is also
expressive of the tension and uncomfortable ness of the room. She
looks down at her hands and picks at her nails. It shows that she is
anxious and worried. The audience may also feel slightly inferior to
Crowe and she does not know what to say. This gives the audience the
impression that this is an everyday situation but one that is knew to
Lynn Sear. The first time viewer witnesses nothing out of the

When Cole arrives home from school he stops dead in the doorway. The
audience presumes that this is from a range of mixed emotions and

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