The Film American Sniper is an action movie directed by Clint Eastwood, it was recently released in January 2015. The widely known actor Bradley Cooper plays the main character Chris Kyle, a United States Navy seal. This movie is based on the autobiography “American Sniper”, published in January of 2013. This film was nominated for six different Oscars, and won one for sound editing. Having only been released two months ago, American Sniper has already topped America’s highest grossing war movie Saving Private Ryan, making it the top war movie in the United States. The total income already being 250 million dollars, this could be due to the film’s huge controversy, not just from the general public but also from Hollywood stars. People have been expressing their opinion of the film all over social media, about the films depiction of war and snipers.
The film starts off by showing Chris Kyle and his brother Wayne Kyle as bull riders trying to make it in the rodeo. Chris gets inspired to join the United Sates military on their fight against terrorism, and ends up in the Navy Seals. After making it through boot camp he is put in the sniper division. Shortly after he meets his wife to be Tyra. They get married right before he is deployed to Iraq after the terrorist attack on the United States. Kyle and his wife have children together, but after every visit home he seems less and less like himself.
In Iraq Kyle is shown having to kill children, women, and countless others to protect his team. Kyle’s best friend is shot and eventually killed by an Iraqi sniper who was trying to kill Kyle. After his fourth tour he returns home willingly but feels “haunted by all the men that he could not save”. He volunteers at the VA hospital to help veterans who have severe physical and psychological disabilities. In the end, he is shot and killed by one of the veterans he is trying to help.
The first scene after the soldiers are deployed to Iraq is of Chris Kyle laying on a roof top with his rifle and one other solider. Kyle is keeping guard of the street while the convoy is moving in through the town. The sound editing in this film is incredible, I could actually feel the sand whistling through the air while Kyle sat on that roof top. While up on that rooftop Kyle is faced with a woman and child who are carrying a grenade trying to bomb the convoy. He must make the decision to shoot them or they will bomb his troop. The couple seconds leading up to his decision is very suspenseful you can hear Kyle taking deep breaths and feel him contemplating his decision, then slowly squeeze on the trigger, from this moment on he is a changed man. The sound editing in this film gives you the feeling that you are right there with the soldiers walking on the crunchy dirty roads and riding on the convoy that ticks as it rolls over the road.
The film starts with this suspenseful dramatic war scene than takes you back to the beginning of Kyle’s life when he first started. Then Eastwood takes you back to the beginning before Kyle was a seal, when he was just an average Texas man trying to become a cowboy. Eastwood was setting the tone of the movie so the viewer would be prepared for what is to come, Kyle’s life goes from wanting to be a rodeo star to having to shoot down people.
This film has started many controversies and disagreements, all over social media and the news. The arguments usually have little to do with the movie itself but how some believe the film portrays war, or their own opinion on war and snipers. Just on twitter Hollywood director Michael Moore posted “My uncle killed by sniper in WW2. We were taught snipers were cowards. Will shoot u in the back. Snipers aren’t heroes.” Country singer Blake Shelton responded to his tweed by posting “Sickens me to see celebrities or anybody slam the very people who protect their right to talk shit…” These two posts show the varying sides of the argument, some think the movie glorifies war and killing while others see the film as a tribute to our veterans and soldiers.
A review published in Time Magazine by John Davis, a former Marine who was in Iraq during this same time period. He wrote that the majority of famous war movies are not realistic portrayals of war itself. Davis states “I was immediately back to that other time and place”. The average viewer can only speculate it the movie is an accurate portrayal and judge from what they think they know. John Davis is a veteran who has lived through these experiences and if he can be taken back to his time at war though a movie I would have to agree that this film portrays war
I would recommend anyone to see this movie, keeping the age of the viewer in mind. No matter what side of the controversy you are on this movie truly shows what United States military men must endure. Not just the stress and agony of war itself but also the affects the war can have on one no matter how strong, whether it be physical or psychological effects.
I would rate this film with five stars, perfect casting, amazing sound effects and cinematography, and realistic depiction of war. The film being based on the autobiography written by the decorated US Navy Seal Chris Kyle, gives the film the most realistic facts and story line possible. This film already being rated the number one war movie shows how much impact it has had on our society already, this is the sign of a great film by everyone to get so involved in the discussion.