American Sniper hits the mark

American Sniper is a true story based on the military career of Chris Kyle who holds the title of the deadliest sniper in American history. The film is based largely on the book of the same name, written by Kyle himself, and tells of his initial enlistment into the United States Navy, time in SEAL training, deployments overseas and time between deployments.
While there is much controversy surrounding the film and Chris Kyle, the accusation that this movie is simply about glorifying war and killing simply does not hold up. While watching this film, it was clear that Chris Kyle was very deeply affected by what happened during his tours in the Middle East. The film would show his deployments, during which some very graphic and disturbing events occurred, and his brief time at home between deployments.
While the scenery changed, it was clear that Kyle didn’t. When he returned home, his mindset was still in the war zone. And of course each time he came home, it was just a little more obvious that his Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) was getting worse.
While the plot was fantastic, as well as emotionally stirring, I was even more surprised by the acting. Going into the film, I was skeptical of having Bradley Cooper of the Hangover fame play such a serious role. Fortunately, Mr. Cooper eviscerated any doubts from the very first scene. Bradley Cooper was fully capable of bringing out every aspect of Chris Kyle’s character almost flawlessly.
In all honesty, this movie is raw, emotionally gripping and in many ways a modern-day Saving Private Ryan, in terms of the honest portrayal of war and its effects. There were many moments where all I could do was cry at the situations that were depicted, both when he was at home and overseas. Moments with his daughter turned into flashbacks from war, and moments at a birthday party almost caused him to kill the family pet, all due to experiences in the Middle East.
This movie truly didn’t pull any punches in depicting the raw nature of war, and how it destroys the mental fortitude of those subjected to it. Without being politically charged, this film expertly advocated in many ways for better treatment of our soldiers. At a time when the treatment of veterans and the morality of war are such heated political issues, this film serves as the perfect package to address both sides of the issue and show the humanity behind the bulletproof vest and rifle.
This movie is not only a must-see, but also a must-own when it makes its retail release. Fans of war films, supporters of our veterans, or those doubting the reality of war and the realities our veterans deal with should watch this movie. It will open the eyes of its viewers to the importance of treating PTSD seriously, and respecting our country’s veterans for what they may or may not have seen and done during their enlistment.