American Sniper Review Part 1: Narrative

I chose to analyze American Sniper because I can relate to it in terms of time and purpose due to my military experience. While American Sniper might be separated from my experiences by a few years, the service branch and specific mission, the human dimension and moral dilemmas remain the same. American Sniper was directed by none other than Clint Eastwood and was based off of a book written by Chris Kyle, a Navy SEAL and sniper who served through four separate tours during Operation Iraqi Freedom and whom is portrayed by Bradley Cooper (Warner Bros. Pictures, 2014).

With the exception of the foreshadowing elements of the opening credits, the film is presented chronologically in sequence to delve into the internal and external conflicts. The effects of the first scene were enough to leave the audience not only on the edge of their seat, but also on the edge of their acceptance of Chris Kyle’s actions. This left the audience curious and well planted, waiting for what was next to come.

The directors choice to use a chronological presentation, less the opening credits, is important because it takes the audience on a short journey through Chris Kyle’s life as a boy and into adulthood where the events of September 11, 2001 lead him into his conflict. This likely establishes a common ground within a large portion of the audience regardless of having a military background, or personal beliefs and opinions about the military. It personifies how relatable Chris Kyle really is and leaves the impression that, “He’s just a regular guy like you and me.” This also helps to establish the sound moral background of the man that is “behind the gun,” and separates it from other war time thrillers where the aim is to create larger-than-life characters. In addition, this helps to show the audience how the internal conflicts of war increase as the external conflicts increase and in turn, how these internal conflicts affect the rest of his life and the life of his family.

I specifically chose this movie because it is relevant to a large portion of Americans that are returning from war and the conflicts they encountered. This movie will continue to be relevant because the internal conflicts will continue to be carried by the generation of Americans that fought in the war.

References

Eastwood C. (2014). American Sniper [Motion Picture]. United States: Warner Bros. Pictures (Original release date 2014)

Warner Bros. Pictures (2014). American Sniper – Official Trailer [HD]. Retrieved from http://youtu.be/99k3u9ay1gs

The Most Lethal Sniper in US History (2014). Retrieved from http://www.americansnipermovie.com//synopsis.php