American Sniper tells a story of war and emotion. And it tells it very well. One of best films to come out last year, American Sniper delivers the heart-pumping action, the darker side of war and the troubles an American soldier and his family goes through during their deployment.
The film is based on the best-selling autobiography of US Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle. The late Chris Kyle is portrayed by Oscar nominee Bradley Cooper in one of his best performances to date.
First off, the film is great blend of drama and action. Oscar winning director Clint Eastwood has managed to build Kyle’s world in Iraq and in Texas and make us part of it as if we were really there. We get to feel the emotion the characters are going through with the help of the surrounding s and the situations. Eastwood manages to connect those aspects together to help us relate to the character. Special and practical effects were also done well especially the sand storm scene in which the soldiers are in the fight of their lives and a sand storm breaks out and just covers everything.
Camera movement was another great feature presented in the film. When in Iraq, several of the scenes involved house to house raids and viewing into a sniper’s scope. Eastwood delivers great camera movement bringing us into the heart of the action and into the eyes of Kyle.
Bringing the character to life is Bradley Cooper. Cooper is unrecognizable in his role as Chris Kyle. He bulked up and changed his accent a bit. His movement is also different. He really embodied Kyle. Cooper delivers several emotional states that Kyle went through perfectly. From the confident cowboy wannabe, to the SEAL in training, to the troubled yet emotionless Sniper and to the father and husband he was meant to be. Cooper shows the transition of each of these states in a steady flow. One scene that greatly struck me was the roof scene near the film’s end in which after killing the enemy sniper they have been hunting for a long time, Kyle calls his wife and says he is finally ready to come home after four tours. Cooper quickly showed the emotion change after taking the deadly shot. He was waiting for that one shot in order to go back to being the man his family needed.
The film’s supporting cast helped in bringing the story to life. Sienna Miller did an astounding performance as Kyle’s wife Taya. We get to see her progress emotionally from being a single girl to a wife, to mother and then into a worry-free wife. Miller is unrecognizable as well. At first glance, you wouldn't notice she was the girl in G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra. Here she is a normal American girl/wife. Her scenes with Cooper are memorable even if they are talking in bed. She showcased her emotional chops when interacting with Cooper’s closed off Chris whenever he is home. Each scene is like fishing. Miller is hoping to get a human response from Kyle but Kyle just shuns the bait several times.
American Sniper is the story of a man who kept a lot inside but also helped a lot of people. Called the “Legend,” Chris Kyle’s life may not have been perfect and was filled with a lot problems, the film showed us that he got up and chased those problems away. It may have taken a long time but he got there. The film delivers to us a unique look at the life of Chris Kyle, the life of wife left behind as their husband is deployed over there, the life of soldiers in the battlefield looking for signs of heroes and hope and the life of those who come home after the war who then face a new war with themselves and anyone around them.
American Sniper is a must-see film which shows us the thin line between duty and family. I give it 9 out of 10.