Cooper brings Chris Kyle to life in ‘American Sniper’

By Jennifer Contreras

It is no surprise that a big opener last weekend was “American Sniper,” which has already garnered six Academy Award nominations.

The biographical film, directed by film legend Clint Eastwood, focuses on Chris Kyle, a Navy SEAL. Kyle is known as the deadliest marksman in U.S. military history.

The film is based on Kyle’s autobiography, “American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History.” The book, published in 2012, was on the New York Times Bestseller list for 37 weeks.

The film stars Bradley Cooper as Kyle, whose journey begins in a military recruiting office. Not long after, Kyle meets Taya (Sienna Miller), his future wife.

The movie showcases Kyle’s entire military career and four tours in the Iraq War. In the film, Kyle adapts to life in Iraq, while his fellow SEALs struggled to adjust. Kyle quickly becomes a leader, and soon began to move up the military ranks.

Kyle is a patriotic soldier, and finds pride in saving his fellow military brothers. In the film, Kyle is asked, “Are you sad that you killed so many people?” Kyle replies, “No, I am sad that I could not save more of my brothers out there.” This characteristic is evident to the audience in several ways. All Kyle can think about is the war, and soon loses touch of what is really important: his family back home.

Another source of turmoil in the film is the relationship between Kyle and his wife. When he returns to the United States, Kyle is mentally distracted, and his wife constantly emphasizes that he missed out on the kid’s lives.

The remainder of the film shows the audience how Kyle recoups from his traumatic experiences and faces internal struggles.

Unlike other films, “American Sniper” showed Kyle’s transition from a civilian to a prestigious SEAL, and the transition back from a SEAL to civilian. The film does a great job of displaying the troubles a war hero faces upon his return home. The unknown territory of struggles goes far beyond trying to find a place in society again, but the journey of overcoming post-traumatic stress disorder and being able to connect with family makes for a great story on film.

“American Sniper” is rated R for strong and disturbing war violence, and language, including some sexual references.

“American Sniper”is in theaters now.


American Sniper

Courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures

American Sniper

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