Bradley cooper as Chris Kyle in American Sniper – photo by Sahil Khan
Chris Kyle is an American Sniper dubbed by Iraqi insurgents as the ‘devil of Ramadi’; he earned this nickname by being the deadliest sniper in American history with at least 160 confirmed kills. He was heralded by Americans as a deadly force on the ‘War on Terror’.
Clint Eastwood directed the film, based (rather loosely at times) on Kyle’s autobiography. The film is homage to the struggles that soldiers face when confronted by modern warfare. The first scene the audience is confronted with is the moral dilemma of whether Kyle’s character (played by Bradley Cooper) will shoot and kill a young child who carries a bomb. The fierce intrusion of this morally heinous situation draws the audience in to the darker sides of war.
Many have heralded American Sniper as glorifying war, and yet Eastwood shows a brutal and gripping account of war that leaves Cooper shaking and volatile from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that has earned him a nomination for best actor for the Golden Globe award.
American sniper will often leave you breathless, literally at the edge of your seat (or pinned down to it, depending on the type of person you are) watching a Marine live through war and attempting to heal from it after. It is likened to Saving Private Ryan for its unflinching portrayal of war. What one must do is separate American Sniper from Chris Kyle, the controversy that is embedded from his book and when you look at the movie as a standalone you are left with is one of the best films of the year.
By Natasha Reis