Have you been to war? Have you been shot at or walked down a street where people want you dead? Or have you wondered if the effects you hear about war are really true? American Sniper answers all of these questions.
American Sniper, which will be shown in Phelps Theater April 17 and 18, kept me hooked from the opening and left me, and most of the audience, silent and in tears walking out.
This movie tells the story of soldier Chris Kyle, and does a masterful job of encapsulating everything a warrior experiences during deployment — excitement, anxiety, fear and reintegration. American Sniper shows us not only what happens on the battlefield, but it also shows the struggle of family back home.
Kyle is no doubt a patriot. During the entire movie, his love for country and his brothers in arms is always evident. I read the book before seeing the movie and many details from the book are evident in the movie. Bradley Cooper’s portrayal of Kyle is an awesome representation.
The movie shows the viewer that combat situations are very real. The viewer is introduced to the real sound of a bullet whizzing by or the wall crumbling in front of you from an RPG. The viewer is also shown that the love for a brother is always strong and in the forefront of Kyle’s mind.
In the movie we also see a lot of shooting and things blowing up. What I believe really isn’t shown is the fear that everyone feels, but that fear is what keeps you moving along.
After deployment ends, Kyle finds himself back home with his wife Taya but wishing he was back doing what he loves — protecting his brothers from harm. Taya wishes Kyle would give up the desire for deployments to be at home and help raise their child. Among the deployments, another child comes along. At this point, Taya really advocates for her husband to stay at home to help with the children.
Between deployments, Kyle is approached at a service station when someone recognizes him. He is very uncomfortable being recognized and thanked in this manner. Kyle really doesn’t want the accolades or mention, and I believe this is true of most veterans. We went to war because of love for country and our brothers. I believe, as a veteran, what we want more than recognition is to know people do appreciate our service to the country.
Service to country and brothers did not end after Kyle’s fourth and final deployment. He went to a VA hospital and found himself sitting and visiting with wounded warriors, continuing to help in a different way. Even Kyle’s death came when he was working with a fellow veteran who was having trouble readjusting to civilian life.
I was disappointed that Hollywood snubbed this powerful movie in the Oscars. Were people not really ready for an accurate look at war?