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Film Review: American Sniper

Monday 26 January 2015
Words Ailis Mara

Rarely does a film come along that is polar to your regular popcorn consuming experience. But American Sniper manages to strip back the traditions of an aggressive ‘all guns’, and perhaps male audience orientated, screening to reveal the rawest in human emotions, psychology and relationships that relates to all of us.

From director Clint Eastwood, Bradley Cooper stars as Chris Kyle, whose skills and dedication as a sniper made him a hero that came with complications. Without giving the story away, or at least the personal one that was muted at first from the piercing warfare, the film unravels his experiences in Iraq. From the mazeland of locals that are virtually impossible to distinguish as friends or foes, to the mist of explosions, and similarly destructive scenes away from battle, American Sniper is 2 hours of intensity that defies you to not concentrate as acutely as the gunmen themselves.

AMERICAN SNIPERPunishing, brutally honest and unapologetic, this isn’t just a visually raw insight into war, but a painfully compelling reflection of all its psychology. You feel like you’re hiding in a militant horror film, with every second posing as a target for casualty. Bradley Cooper delivers a defining performance as someone you sympathise and respect, but in some ways distaste at times due to the ordeal he puts his wife, Sienna Miller, through. It’s this forced detachment from family that drives the film. While you couldn’t necessarily call the film enjoyable due to its content, it’s without doubt one of the most powerful films I’ve seen and for that reason is unmissable.