Before seeing the movie, I had not read the book or even heard of Chris Kyle. I think to my own shame, like many others since 911, our lives have gone on with little thought of those serving overseas. If we have not been directly touched by family members in the armed forces who served in Iraq, we probably didn’t think much about it. Sure, we watched the news, saw pictures of caskets with American flags draped over them, but didn’t feel the terror these soldiers endured, the pain their families have suffered, or the sacrifices they made.
American Sniper will bring you face to face with the lives of young men who fought. The story of Chris Kyle is not just about is ability as a marksman and the kills that he made to save the lives of other soldiers. It’s about the turmoil of serving, the danger, dealing with PTSD, and trying to make sense of the war when at times it made no sense at all.
Bradley Cooper’s performance was phenomenal. The man really deserves an Oscar, whether he wins or not. I think that he portrayed Chris Kyle with deep respect and knew the responsibility he held to bring this man’s story to the public. Great job Clint Eastwood, too, for the fine direction.
Though I have read some rather scathing reviews of Chris’ book on Amazon that have painted him less than a saint in real life, I frankly have not let that taint my enjoyment of this movie. It’s not just about this one Navy Seal. The movie is about the sacrifice young men make for our country, who have no qualms in joining one of the branches of the armed forces to serve. It reminds us what it means to protect the freedom we enjoy.