I’m not going political on this film because I would rather look at it as a film rather than propaganda as it has been labelled. I am an Englishman who is not at all patriotic and one that did not agree with the war in Iraq or in Afghanistan and I could go on and on about my feeling regarding the subject, but I don’t want to in this case. I want to look at the film itself and the performances of actors and director.
I think the political element and the promotion the film has had has propelled a good film way above what it should be. This is where the Oscars I believe have their own slant and agenda on things and will push a film when it suits them. I think this is the case for American Sniper because I wasn’t it biggest fan. When I watch a film about a person I want to know about that person, how they feel, think and what effects their lives. My opinion would be different from Chris kyles (American Sniper) in reference to the war, but I feel the film gave him a disservice. He is portrayed as a war hero and not much more and I think there could have been a greater concentration on his life. His wife barely features and it really doesn’t look at how she coped as a soldier’s wife. There is too much on the war and no real depth to the film, so I cannot understand how this could be used as propaganda? I also imagine that when you are fighting someone that you aren’t necessarily going to like them? You’re not going call them nice things? War is not always elegant and is often brutal, so I think too much has been said about the language used. There is no point making a film and covering over the cracks so as not to offend people.
The film is based on a soldier, kyle who finished 4 tours as the best sniper in war history. Between the tours there are segments of home life where he struggles to cope and feels he is still back fighting. As I said before there is hardly any footage of this. I think particularly as PTSD is not very well understood and the effects on a person and their family can be enormous, this should have been given greater time. The film doesn’t really show the soldiers human side. It rushes through life after war and doesn’t really show how the man got over the war and who he helped. In reality the film didn’t need to based on a particular soldier because as I have said before there is very little depth. I think if you make a film about a true life person you owe a lot to them and their family to portray them right and cover their life. This film tries to get through that as quickly as possible, which is a shame.
The direction and coverage of war is brilliant and well worked. You feel the tension and feel that you are there. You are part of the decision making and the emotion on whether to shoot or hold back. As a sniper you cannot afford to be wrong and that pressure is portrayed brilliantly by Clint Eastwood and Bradley Cooper. I think Cooper did brilliantly with what he had, but he was done a disservice by the script outside of war where he could really show his skills. I cannot criticize the war footage because it is well made and beautifully shot and this is the films strength. I need more from a film and not being patriotic makes it hard for me to relate too. Kyle is not a person I can agree with in terms of their views, but maybe I could had I known about their life beyond war? I like to reiterate that some viewers wont need this and would love the film. Does it deserve Oscar nominations? No! It’s not a great film. There have been far better films and performances in the last year. I think it’s the topic that has received the Oscars rather than the film itself.
I love writing blogs because it’s all down to your own opinion and others will agree and disagree. I am an Englishman writing about an American soldier, which means my opinion will be completely different from an American standpoint. I would love to know other peoples thoughts on this? Particularly the film more than the subject.