The Sixth Sense (1999)
M. Night Shyamalan’s The Sixth Sense had every hallmark of a modern classic when it rolled triumphantly over the world's cinema screens in 1999, and it still does today over twenty years later. The basis for the success is Shyamalan’s hauntingly beautiful script, which not only belongs to an ancient ghost-story tradition, but is some sort of cinematic epitome of it. Stylistically, the film is quiet and understated. Shyamalan has so much confidence in his own and his actors' abilities that he never gets tempted into overdoing it. Instead, the film achieves perfection through gentle simplicity. Whenever there's an opportunity for emblematic genre-solutions, Shyamalan resists it and lets his subtle innuendos carry through. And whenever the film's drama and suspense rests on our affinity and empathy with main character Cole Sear, little Haley Joel Osment not only repays Shyamalan's faith in him; he imposes his talent and humanity upon us with such significance that it will probably never be eclipsed in a part like this. Osment even lifts Bruce Willis and Toni Collette to career-best performances. And as the young writer/director Shyamalan wrapped up his picture with a masterfully elegant ending, he must have known that he had just created something that would be comparable with Hitchcock's best works for decades if not centuries.
Copyright © 05.07.2021 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang