Friday, January 23, 2015

AMERICAN SNIPER

Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller

"One Bullet can tell the Story"


Clint Eastwood gives us the story of Chris Kyle, the most lethal sniper in US military history. Even though it is basically a biography about his exploits in the four tours of duty he served in Iraq, the film itself didn't give out such a vibe. It still felt like any normal film about the effects of war on a person who is trained to kill enemies and justifies it as serving his country.

Bradley Cooper is in full character form, even growing a bushy beard to resemble the late Chris Kyle. It is just unfortunate that he is best known for his role in the "Hangover" franchise. So his reputation as a serious character actor is a bit tainted even though he has been consistent in putting out credible performances. The fact that he has been nominated thrice for various roles should silence the critics.  

As Chris Kyle, he succeeds in bringing forth the sniper's strong sense of patriotism and his private battles to the screen. A deeply complex character that has witnessed the horrors of war yet once he is home from his tour cannot adapt to 'normal' life. Surely, it can be traced to PTSD yet somehow I got the impression that Chris Kyle was over zealous and took his sniper duty to heart and he felt more comfortable in a war zone than living, normally.

As expected in most war movies, women usually take a back seat. Sienna Miller as Taya Kyle is in a thankless role as a nagging wife who does not understand or chooses to deny that her husband has PTSD. But based on interviews with the widow of Chris Kyle, she strikes me as loving wife who was totally devoted to her husband and their family. Surely she had flaws so I wonder if she approved of Sienna Miller's portrayal of her.

Going back to the film, technically it is well directed. The tour of duty scenes are authentic and it does convey the horrors of  war. More specifically that the role of a sniper is relevant and quite important and it is a case of 'killing the enemy than being killed'.

But I can't say the same for the scenes depicting his life back home, they were quite amateurish. Plus using a doll to pretend it is a real baby is simply unforgivable, something you don't expect from a Clint Eastwood movie! Yes it is quite obvious, goodness!

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