As credits rose from the bottom of the screen, the theater remained in silence. There was no beautiful song to drone out the stillness in the room. Instead, the audience quietly grabbed their belongings and rose from their seats to exit the dark room. Outside the theater, the world seemed so distant from the images that just had played before the audience for the last two hours.
The theatrical film, “American Sniper,” was officially released on January 16, 2015 and has already surpassed box-office expectations. The film is based off a biographical account of U.S. Navy Seal Chris Kyle, who is regarded as one of the deadliest snipers in U.S. history due to his amount of kills while on tour in the Middle East. The film, directed by Clint Eastwood, takes a different approach from other recently released war movies by illustrating the damaging effects on soldiers and their home-lives.
Senior Karl Anderson recently saw ‘American Sniper’ after reading the background of Chris Kyle in his biography, “American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S Military.”
“The film did a good job of showcasing the horrors and the dirty sides of the war as well as showing what the effects were on Chris and his family,” said Anderson.
While some people criticized the movie for the level of violence and goriness in the scenes, many appreciated and saw the necessity of portraying the realities of war in film.
“It’s healthy to see the gruesome side of the war,” said Anderson, “It allows us to have a better understanding and appreciation of soldiers, who come back and may be dealing with PTSD, and have a better idea of how to respond.”
Along with highlighting a key psychological component in the film, Eastwood also showcased the atrocities and horrors of the battles that took place, resulting in a very realistic and graphic film.
Senior Chris Dye, who also saw “American Sniper” recently, says he felt an overwhelming amount of shock after watching the film.
“The heaviest emotion I felt was shock,” said Dye, “Not only with just seeing what the effects can be of PTSD but of the tragedies and awful things that occurred over there.”
Senior Benjamin Coad, who will be serving as an active member of the United States Army in the branch of Field Artillery upon graduating, also found “American Sniper” to be true to life in its graphics and contents.
“The movie was very realistic,” said Coad, “I know of two veterans who felt they would not be able to see the film in a theatre setting due to its potential to bring back a PTSD episode.”
Coad also stated how the film is beneficial to both veterans and current U.S. enlisted members as it showcased the sacrifice and the battle that one endures not only while in duty, but after they return home. Coad also noted that the film could help lend an important perspective because the movie focuses on the sacrifice of the veterans rather than the war itself.
“This movie is good in the sense that it showcases the realities of what these men and women went through, which in return gives you a greater respect for the veterans that are coming out of the war.”