American Sniper, movie
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  • This, however, drastically changes for Chris, when he decides to enlist in Special Forces to fight in the Middle East, after viewing images of destruction and conflict with US Embassies

by Tom Byrne

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    Possibly one of Clint Eastwood’s most acclaimed directorial efforts, naturally surpassed by “Million Dollar Baby”, “American Sniper” is both transfixing and emotionally powerful in exploring the turbulent life of the factual Chris Kyle (Bradley Cooper): regarded as the United States’ most brutal and lethal sniper. Opening with an intense and enormously tense scene, the audience meets the titular figure well within his element. Eastwood perfectly encapsulates the harrowing, and at times brutally suspenseful nature of this non-fiction premise.

  • American Sniper: History's Most Deadly Sniper
  • The real Chris Kyle and American’s most lethal sniper in military history, shortly after publishing his autobiography. (Pictured above)

  • American Sniper: History's Most Deadly Sniper
  • Interspersed with significant flashbacks from Kyle’s past, the audience begins to develop an understanding for Kyle’s overt and fierce patriotism. In a schoolyard bullying incidence, Kyle protects his younger brother from rather gratuitous violence from a gang of young children. In recounting the story to his father, we, as an audience, bear witness to a father that adheres to the definition “tough” and rigid in tradition, acknowledging that “we protect our own.” Several years later, the two brothers are living the lives of “wannabe cowboys”, aimlessly searching for nothing. This, however, drastically changes for Chris, when he decides to enlist in Special Forces to fight in the Middle East, after viewing images of destruction and conflict with US Embassies. In essence, he develops a new sense of purpose and direction, to the extent that his life revolves around the war and the notions of patriotism and family.

  • American Sniper: History's Most Deadly Sniper
  • Eastwood’s handling of the battle sequences is exceptional, as he avidly encapsulates the intensity, eeriness and foreboding sombre of life within a warzone. More significantly, the film’s cinematographer, Tom Stern, refrains from adopting the preconceived, and to many, rather annoying use of “shaky” camera work, which are commonly used to emulate the confusion and tumultuous ambiguity of the modern conflict. The camera framework is excellent, and more important stable, as the audience gains greater clarity of the storyline and movements of Kyle himself. The film lacks overpowering non-diegetic sound, and as a result, relies predominantly on the use of diegetic film sounds to evoke and engage the audience, an effective ploy by Eastwood. In addition, whilst the instigation of an “enemy sniper” character may prove to be “Hollywood” adding its touch to the film, personally, it felt reminiscent of the 2001 film “Enemy at the Gates”, as Kyle sought to eradicate what seemed to be the enemy’s most lethal sniper.

  • American Sniper: History's Most Deadly Sniper
  • Focusing on the performances, Cooper brings a simplistic deftness to a role that most certainty could have been “overacted” at times. Instead, the real life character of Chris Kyle is delicately nuanced, along with his personal life, as Cooper continually returns to the front lines, justifying it as “for his family.” More importantly, when in his element, Kyle has the presence of an exceptional dangerous man and soldier, however, not a bloodthirsty one: which can be attributed to Cooper’s Oscar Nominated Performance. He is not in the Army for the sake of killing, but more to “save men.”

  • American Sniper: History's Most Deadly Sniper
  • More importantly, the film pays tribute to its source effectively, shying away from social commentary on the conflict itself, and instead, choosing to transcribe the life of one talented sniper in the Special Forces. Sienna Miller brings her own talent to the role of Chris’ wife, Aaya, choosing to not adhere to the riddled cliches of the “army wife” and conveying a woman who is simply confused by her husband’s actions to return to the front. Her performance is not confounded by unnecessary emotion and drama.

  • American Sniper: History's Most Deadly Sniper
  • Eastwood’s “American Sniper” has received six Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Bradley Cooper. As of January 28, the film has grossed $252.1 million.

    Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper” ends with a rather “un-Hollywood” ending. Whilst the film may rely on nationalistic cliches, this motion picture is the platform for a central, gripping performance by Bradley Cooper and assured, unadulterated direction from the veteran director, culminating in a vivid and lucid depiction of America’s most deadly sniper.

Kristina says :

I loved the movie American Sniper although I did catch differences between the book and the movie. One thing that disappointed me was at the end they did not mention that Kyle’s friend Chad Little was also killed by the Marine, I think Chris would have been disappointed as well.
Other than that it was an accurate portrayal of Chris Kyle’s life and an excellent portrayal of what goes on in our warriors’ minds when they come home.
Salvatore Liuzzi says :

American Sniper was a great movie that is probably considered great because of two things: the real life person that the story is based on and the realism. The only flaw I could find with the movie is the liberal use of his satellite phone. You’re not able to use your sat phone to call your spouse in the middle of a firefight, but I think we all know that this improbability was needed to capture the real-life complexities of maintaining a relationship and communication while deployed to a combat zone.
Moe says :

I loved American Sniper because Bradley Cooper showed raw emotion and the struggle of being a soldier, a husband and a wife extremely well. There were some flaws with the movie but nothing that hampers the movie. However on an emotional aspect the movie was near flawless. I think in many ways Bradley Cooper showed us what many soldiers with families go through.
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