The American Sniper is an eye-opening movie directed by Clint Eastwood. Based on Chris Kyles very own memoir, American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History, the film shows Warner Brothers superior and heart touching producing skills. It was released after a period of great sorrow and grief for the American people allowing it to accumulate a total of 350 million dollars and $676,000 on its opening day. In respect to the 9/11 attacks and Americas involvement in Iraq, this relatively well-budgeted movie ranged in the 58 millions to produce and manages to effectively give a beautiful story of an American S.E.A.Ls valor and struggle. Additionally, the movie stars cast and crew such as Bradley Cooper playing Kyle, Sienna Miller as his wife, and finally, Luke Grimes and Jacke McDorman as Kyles close war brothers. Eastwood displays the mind wrenching struggles American war vets experience upon returning home through many methods such as using relatable characters, intense scenes, and underlying themes.
The movie uses Kyles story of becoming a respected military legend to show the true side of that label. Kyle ironically said in the movie you donít want that title emphasizing the reality a legend has to live with. Shortly thereafter, the audience begins to notice Chriss growing instability resulting from the brutal realism of war. Things like post-traumatic stress, anxiety, mental struggle, marital problems, and all the like are highlighted throughout the movie to depict what many soldiers experience post deployment.
Furthermore, the director begins manifesting these ideas by the starting scene displaying one of the hardest decision many soldiers struggle with: taking a human life even if that life is a childs. Chris is deployed on his first overwatch mission. During this mission, a U.S. convoy comes down a road with a peculiar lady and child standing in the center. The civilian then passes a hand bomb to her son urging him to throw it at the Americans. Suddenly all the weight of being a soldier comes crashing down on Chris. As he aims at the young boy, he begins reminiscing on his values and beliefs. In this first scene alone the whole movies technique is seen. Generally, Kyle would be in one of his toughest choices as an overwatch or foot soldier and then it would flash back to all the memories that formed the basis or rationale in making those really life-defining choices. In those instances, a variety of scenes would play through the Legends head. Sometimes it was memories of church, childhood moments of him being the sheepdog of his younger brother, meeting his wife and experiencing marriage for a soldier, or even the birth of his first-born. Eventually, Kyle has to make the choice to get the job done and pulls the trigger killing the mother and son before they caused any harm. Here the director is trying to establish a dominant impression of the feeling that comes over a soldier as their finger lies on the trigger. That crushing mass that covers them every time just before taking a life. When they are making that choice whether or not to fire or spare, all the thoughts and emotions that got them there, the things that make them do what they do, and making the decisions that make him who he is while deployed are all present in that instant.
As the movie progresses Eastwoods theme is further shown. Kyle continually struggles to adjust with the traumatic experiences overseas. He sometimes would come home but not really be home. Slowly the movie shows the transformation from being almost completely stripped of humanity to adjusting and moving on after Kyle finally returns home. However, it was not until the climax of the movie where he almost loses his life in the seeming suicide mission, in the middle of a desert sandstorm, that he ultimately decides to get his life and happiness back. Through this chain of events following the Legends life memoir, Eastwood is able to portray his vision of the true soldiers struggle in an effective way to the audience allowing them to feel and see the inside of a soldiers life on a personal level.
In all, the movie serves to take the audience along Kyles life as a tool to open their eyes to the horrors and valor of war. As one soldier said, Its crazy. Iím getting awarded for the worst day of my life. This is the central theme Clint attempts to portray to his audience during the movie. He wants to expose that mind-boggling reality of war and its heroes. Although some critics believe it did not truly deliver the actual Chris Kyle, it still efficiently captures the day-to-day battles that soldiers and war vets alike faced in service. Personally, I believe Clint Eastwood along with Warner Brothers Studios did an outstanding job of displaying this phenomenon and highly appreciated film, American Sniper. The movie accurately shows the soldiers struggle through a variety of means like character display and real life events to convey its purpose and therefore puts it as one of my all-time favorite war movies deserving a well-appreciated movie review.
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