Ok, the point of the movie is that Cole has the ability to talk to dead people, and because of that, the dead people have something they need to say to him. Obviously, Malcom needs to succeed on a case similar to the one he found out he failed as he was killed. Also, the first time we witness Malcom seeing Cole, it is obvious that Malcom has been following him before, because he knew where Cole lived. We don't know exactly when Malcom started working on Cole's case, so I don't see how this could be considered a slip-up.
I haven't seen the movie since it was first released so this theory could be full of holes, but here it is: Malcolm's notes are actually about the man who shot him. Wasn't he a boy when he first started going to Malcolm? It seems like Cole is a "beacon for the dead." Malcolm would be drawn to that "beacon," so he would know where to find him. Here's one problem with this theory that I don't know the answer to: Does Cole's name appear on the notes? If it does, here's the cop-out answer: Cole says that ghosts see and hear what they want to. Malcolm wanted to see Cole's name in the notes. Next hole: How does Malcolm know Cole's name? Well, how does Malcolm, the poisoned girl, or the lady who was killed in the bicycle accident near the end of the movie know where to find Cole? I think the answer to both of those questions is simply; it just is. Sometimes you just have to suspend your disbelief a little to enjoy a truly top-notch movie.
I think EVERYBODY might have missed a major point. Cole drew ghosts to him that wanted his help right? Well Malcom was not there to help Cole but to GET help FROM Cole! The fact that he did in fact help Cole deal with his gift was secondary to the fact that he (Mal) got what he needed being final rest. So in other words he was drawn to Cole exactly the same way as all the other ghosts
They only see what they want to see. Malcolm didn't want to see the fact that he was dead therefore I'm not so sure he even realized he was sitting there with the mother and they weren't talking. The door with the red handle only appeared "locked" to us but in the end, in fact, it was blocked by a table because he didn't see it. And I firmly believe that Cole knew from the first time he saw the doctor that Malcolm was dead. But Malcolm was very warm and interested in Cole and I think in his own way, Cole felt sorry for the doctor therefore giving him clues throughout the latter half of the movie, easing the doctor into the fact that he's been dead.
As Cole says, dead people only see and hear what they want to. For this reason, Malcolm never notices that the door to his office in the cellar is blocked by a table and book. We never actually see him enter that door. He just appears in his office.
in reply to ratgirl way up there, is it possible that Cole KNEW Malcolm was dead because when you see all the other dead people, they all have their "wounds" or such, how they died? So maybe Cole saw that wound in Malcolms belly and didn't talk to his mom about it because he knew Malcolm was dead, and didn't say anything to Malcolm because he sincerly wanted his help, whether Malcolm was dead or alive. Also, Malcolm didn't see the wound because, the ghosts only see what they want to see, and he dosen't see the wound until the end of the movie when we see the wound too.
According to the rules of the movie, Malcolm could only have access to the things he came into contact with before he died. Throughout the whole movie, he was wearing the same clothes as the night he was shot. Event the sweatshirt and trench coat came from that scene. When they showed the broken window and the phone lying on the ground, it was lying next to his briefcase and a bunch of notes were lying on the ground. It is my theory that he was working on that case earlier, or he just followed Cole and observed him and wrote down notes, but that is why he was allowed to carry the briefcase and notes.
The strange thing that seems to bother everyone is that he's lived a dead 'normal' life for 9 months. But remeber, Cole did say ghosts hear and see what they want to, and since he felt that he wasn't spending enough time, he began seeing the truth.
Now, there is one thing that bothers me. How did he break that glass at that jewlery shop were his wife works? I mean, he's dead, right?
Here's another thought! Dr Crowe is is seen sitting opposite opposite Cole's mother in her lounge as he waits for Cole to arrive home from school, now there's no way you would sit with somebody like that without engaging in conversation or be offered tea/coffee etc. If Dr Crowe had spoken to Cole's mother he would have have received no reply or reaction to his presence which would have caused Dr Crowe to realise something was very wrong with his persona and he should have noticed the lack of any reaction from Cole's mother at as he sat with her. What is the explanation for this particular shortfall in the screenplay.
To lost in brain at the end of the movie there is a thing 'bout the 'rules and clues' and the directer said that the ghosts can have enough inpact on the real world if they want to.Just thought you'd like to know!!!
I could be wrong, but I assumed that Malcom knew about Cole because they lived in the same neighborhood, or at least near each other--maybe he'd even been told about Cole before he died by someone who knew about Vincent. Cole's mother would have never hired a therapist for her son, there is one point in the "guessing game" scene where Malcom states that a therapist never helped Cole's mom, so Cole doesn't think Malcom could help him. Cole indicates this is correct.
okay, the fact that Malcolm has the kids case is supposed to make it seem like he's not really dead, that the gunshot wound wasn't fatal, he lived and he kept taking cases. and correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Cole say something about him(Malcolm)being 'different'? if you ask me, he's referring as to how Malcolm doesn't seem to want to hurt him, like the other ghosts, so he decides to talk to him.
I would put the following to you. The dead can't pass on if they have unfinished business. It is Cole that helps the dead pass on not Malcolm helping Cole. By following Cole,s case he realized where he had gone wrong with Vincent Grey -the guy that shot him. What kept Malcolm tied to the Earth is that he did not know how he failed Vincent Grey, remember he was given an award for helping troubled children. Malcolm needed to know how he had not helped Vincent, Cole helped him find that out.
Smiley is fairly correct but you notice in the beginning cole runs to the church when he sees malcom And he reaches the for a key every time its locked thats WHY the table gets moved there. but good observation smile.
Hmmm there's quite a paradox here. You never actually see the Dr talking to Cole's mum, and it's cleverly done so it looks like they ought to have been talking, but it does make you wonder how come he gets into such a detailed relationship with Cole and how he gets the impression that he is working therapeutically with him. Surely if he was working as a therapist with a child he would need to have conversations with the mother, at which point he would immediately blow his own cover as a dead person because she would not respond to him?
ok, everyone, no one here answered the question. we all understand that the director made sure that the rules were not broked through the movie but that is all made clear by Night (if u have the dvd) in his "interview". what the question is where is the info on cole from and how did malcome get it? i have no clue, would someone like to try something other than that he got in a whole year before.
I've thought about this a lot, and I was under the impression that Malcolm had just started work on Cole's case before he died, hence the notes, and just did not resume his work until several months later when life around him at home was sort of back to normal - he just blanked out the months in between as he did not want to see his funeral and his wife grieving etc. cus he didn't know/accept thathe was dead, so just suspended his 'life' - he could do that cus he's dead.
Malcom didn't have information on Cole until after he talked to him for a while at the church. In the frist scene that you see Cole, the paper that Bruce Willis has is a bunch of info on Vincent Grey. What is wrong, though, is that when Bruce is translating that Latin phrase, the info sheet he has on Cole then has stuff about Tommy Tommasino ditching him everyday, which he was supposed to learn a couple of scenes later. That's the weird part about it.
Remember when Cole says ghosts only see and hear what they want to. So when Malchom sees that Cole has a case similar to the case he couldnt help, he wants to help Cole. So Malchom is really only helping him because of what he saw 1 year before. Its hard to explain. But read the back of the box. It explains it alittle more.
Okay...obviously none of you are mothers dealing with the problems of a kid. His mom is sitting there talking to herself...I do it often...and bruce's character finds out what he knows, as was pointed out before, from the case involving the walberg character. Children aren't very different in their problems, its our approach to their problems that make them different. Anyway, bruces character having dealt with kids for years could easily point out a slight schizophrenia in the case of the kid.
Malcolm "hires" himself to help Cole deal with his problem. He doesn't want to fail this case like he did with Vincent. You never see Malcolm talk to anyone, nor does anyone notice him. He doesn't even move the chair to sit down when he goes to see Anna in the resataurant.
Missmegs, this is the whole point -- or at least of it -- of the big revelation at the end of the movie. Malcolm realizes that he is dead, and the audiences realizes that Cole knew it all along. Cole was never fooled.
About the glass breaking, etc. The dead only see what they want to. Maybe this part is from Bruce Willis+'s point of view, since Haley-Joel Osmond isn't there. He was projecting rage, thinking that he broke they glass. The effect of the behavior would be the glass breaking. He saw what he (expected) wanted to see.
Ok about the glass, if you would have watched the directors after word it says that he broke the glass by throwing something at it like a rock. But I agree with everyone else he just remembered his case with Vincent and saw that it was related to Cole.
I would guess for Malcom to have papers on Cole he'd been following him for some time. The movie advanced to "next fall" because that's when Malcom starts talking to Cole. For Cole's mom to arrange Malcom's help she would need to talk to Malcom. So he knew he had the job before he died.
In the film Cole walks in and its cleverly shot to look as if we the audience are just like cole walking into the middle of a delicate conversation between Malcom and Cole's mother giving the impression they have a business relationship.At this time in the film we do not know that he is dead. So when we see this we think that they have been talking
The first time Malcolm sees Cole, Malcolm says "Sorry, I'm late."
When Cole is in the hospital, the Dr. comes in and questions Cole's mom about the marks on Cole's body. Malcolm had already noticed these marks and decided they were (possibly) self-inflicted since the mom obviously loved Cole very much. IF Malcolm had been alive, wouldn't he been able to step in and say, "the mom isn't touching the kid"? As the child psychologist on the case? Cole's mom also says something about working 3 jobs (or something along those lines). Perhaps being poor she couldn't afford to find a good child psychologist, or Cole's case got shuffled around for another couselor to take care of, in the meantime Malcolm came along.
OK, I was under the impression that Cole was terrified of "dead people". I figured this was because he could see their horrific wounds. If he could see Malcolm's gun shot wound, why wouldn't this frighten him away? (I figured he couldn't see it because it was covered by the trench coat) Also, if he was so frightened of "dead people" and wanted to get rid of his gift so badly, and knew that Malcolm was dead, why did he speak so calmly to him, and not try to ignore him or run away like he did all the others? Maybe he suspected or knew toward the end, after Malcolm had gained his trust, etc. But, his first reaction to Malcom was not that of the person they tried to display as frightened at the sight or thought of "dead people".
Is there someplace that openly explains whether Cole could see Malcolm or not? Like the director's comments?
In the book series, Cole's mum, Lynn, had contacted Dr.Crowe regarding his "mood disorder", and the "mother-child dyad" since he was seven years old! He obviously would have had the info on Cole due to past telephone conversations with Lynn, while he looked into tiny Tim's case ;-)
Okay, the reason that Malcolm knew Cole's info was because Cole was most likely refered by another therapist. This may not be so, but it is very apparant that this is the first time Malcolm has seen Cole.
OK everyone I'm going to wrap this up! First of all ghost see what they want to see so when Malcom wanted to see paperwork for Cole he saw it. Second when Malcom was "talking" with Coles mom she was just thinking out loud and Malcom thought she was telling him stuff about Cole. Third I think it was said in the movie but I know it was said after the credits, that when a ghost is really angry they can interact with the physical plain. Finaly Cole knew Malcom was dead because he knew proably part of the -Six Sense-. The last note is that, *I see dead people.* :) Bye!