The Sixth Sense

a elegy on the inheritance and iteration of empathy, the most hopeful declaration in shyamalan's oeuvre that we can pass on so much more than trauma and dysfunction, that our own agonies can become sources of incredible love and caring rather than excuses for inflicting pain. our own ghosts are exorcised by faith and understanding, while this allows us to care for others in deeper ways than we could have ever imagined. a perspective that seems almost naive, were it not so achingly in contact with the reality of pain and the loneliness it brings. happily, none of the climax's extraordinary power and loveliness is deflated by knowing the "twist", and those who think shyamalan relies on plot contrivance as a crutch are surely so distracted by their own self-satisfaction and superior intellect that they fail to attend to the beating heart of the cinema on full and fragile display.

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