War and life: ‘American Sniper’

War and life: American Sniper

Clint Eastwood’s new war movie “American Sniper” has become a box office hit and a favorite for award nominations including the academy award for best picture and best actor in Bradley Cooper.

This action film based on the autobiography of Chris Kyle, the most lethal sniper in U.S. history, takes a chronological approach to Kyle’s life in classic Eastwood fashion.

The beginning scenes of the film show the early stages of Kyle’s life and some of his influences, like his father, that bring him to be the relentless navy seal trapped in a savior complex.

The film expresses the focus and decision making it takes to become a proficient sniper; nothing more valuable than a sniper’s breathing, Eastwood amplifies Cooper’s breathing for each one of his kills holding the audience in focus as if they were taking the shot.

The suspense is captured through the situations that force Kyle to kill or not kill to protect his soldiers; even if the target is a child.

Cooper does a beautiful job carrying the weight of such decisions on his shoulders all the while staying true to Kyle by nailing his Texas accent.

The action scenes are some of the most realistic and suspenseful that I have ever seen in a war film. These scenes reveal the protocol and communication between squads of soldiers and their over watch or snipers.

Eastwood balances the action and drama in a ping pong fashion where one scene is Kyle at home with his wife and kids and the next is in the middle of a warzone.

This form does well in showing the two things Kyle is fighting through his life; his enemies in war and his own mind that has a hunger to save and protect.

Eastwood takes this juxtaposition even further using the phone calls between Kyle and his wife to illustrate their relationship; the phone calls become a part of the climax of the film and his decision.

American Sniper feels real from beginning to end than the usual film “based” on a true story.

This is most evident in the ending: don’t worry I won’t spoil it. It comes out of nowhere and is unconventional as far as films go, but this the real life of Chris Kyle.

This film reaches higher than a film that shows the brutality of war; it also jumps inside the psychological issues that one can come across in a warzone and how to deal with them at home.

“American Sniper” deserves its praise for its new age look into humanity and real psychological issues. My thumbs are up.