‘American Sniper’ realistically portrays the lives of soldiers

Nichole Davila-Sanchez, ‘Doah Staff Writer
February 4, 2015

Recently, the news has been buzzing with a debate about one of the newest cinematic releases called the “American Sniper,” a movie directed and produced by Clint Eastwood and written by Jason Hall. It has received six nominations at the 87th Academy Awards including Best Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture. It stars Bradley cooper as Chris Kyle, the main character of the film, and Sienna Miller as Tea Kyle, the wife of our protagonist. The “American Sniper” is a film adaptation of a book by the same name written by Chris Kyle, Scott McEwen and John DeFelice. Both are based on the real story of Chris Kyle and his life as a Navy Seal sniper. It shows this man’s fight not only as a soldier but also as a husband and father.

Chris Kyle’s journey began from his adolescence in Texas where he learned how to hunt from his father, and that skill helped him later when he did what many of our men and women did after Sept. 11: He enlisted. At the age of 30, he joined the Navy Seals and became a trained U.S. sniper. He was deployed to Iraq and experienced his first kill on the battlefield. For all his training, Kyle was shaken by the weight he now realizes he has to bear, and throughout the film, his battle with the weight of his duty and how it affects him becomes a common thread. Chris Kyle is nicknamed the “Legend” by his fellow seals because of his skills, and this becomes the title that defines him in the war. He faces a struggle that many of our men and women face when they go off to war: How to function in civilian society after see such pain. Chris Kyle’s struggle to be a husband and father while being haunted by the ghosts of the battlefield is a mirror that we are made to look into in order to understand just how much our soldiers give for their country.

This film demonstrates a topic that many people don’t think about. Its cinematography allows people to see through the characters’ eyes, so the audience can view the price of war. The music at the end, “Taps,” gives a strong impact on the audience. You watch this man struggle to return to his family through the fog of battle and then to hear that song… pulls are your heart when you realize what happened. There are some that say Chris Kyle is a murderer, and others say that he is a hero. We must remember that he was a man who wanted to protect what he loved when it came under attack. He became wounded, but his family’s grip called him back to where he could find peace. This film is something everyone should watch and form his or her own opinion about. Whether it makes them sad, angry or meditative, the fact remains that this story is one everyone should hear because it speaks a language many of us can understand and relate to.

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