Second Veiwing

After taking some time to think about the discussion we had in class reguarding the false and real fabulas of the Sixth Sense, I find that my appreciation for the movie has been tarnished. I understand that the twist is the cliamtic moment in the film, where the audience has to reconsider the hypotheses they formulated. However, Professor Mittel brought up a good point in class, that we are led to believe Bruce Willis’ new case is starting about one full year after being shot. This means that all the akward interactions between Bruce Willis and his wife, which the audience veiws in the restaurnant or in their home, were similar over the course of that year. Consequently, this makes me question how smart Bruce Willis really is in the film and if he is deserving of such praise for being a child psychologist. 

Malcom does state that he is a workaholic and his wife does come second in many ways, but I think this is a gap that does not make sense, and is crucial to the film as a whole. For example, in the dinner scene at the restaurant, the camera work does not use eye line matches to give the audience the impression that the wife is upset with Bruce Willis tardiness. Also, the wife’s quick reaction to getting the bill, and her glance up in the direction of Bruce Willis make the audience think she is acknowledging his presence. However, these are her natural reactions to paying the bill quick because she is alone on their anniversary, while her glance is a reaction to a laugh she overhears at another table. The first time through I could accept these coincidental occurrances. Now, I cannot, because these occurrances suppossedly happened over the course of the previous year as well. I mean, after Bruce Willis was shot, did he just walk out of the hospital by himself in the same clothes, wondering why his wife did not pay an attention to him. Apparently not, or else he would have realized he was dead. The twist which makes one re-examins the film is an interesting technique, but I feel that it also ruins the film once one thinks about the possibilities of what is not shown.

I feel that the time frame of the fabula is too long and needs to be shortened to make the experienced veiwer think Malcom’s ghost prescence is feasable. Malcom is a psychologist and working out problems is how he makes a living. Dealing with his failing marriage, or realizing that no one else talks to him besides his new patient should be an alarming factor that makes him want to change how he lives. I feel that this is where the Sixth Sense fails because a shortened fabula should be applied for both first and second time veiwers. Instead of saying that a year has gone by between the shooting and his new case, why not a month, two at the most. This would not be difficult in the film because Bruce Willis suppossedly does not know he is dead, and it would make more sense to the fabula as a whole. Now Bruce Willis isn’t wandering around for a year wondering why his wife won’t cook or have sex with him anymore. Generally, it works the other way once one has gone through an experience like getting shot; lots of soup and care to make sure one recuperates. I don’t understand why they chose to have such a long time frame.       

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