“American Sniper” opens doors to overseas experiences

Bradley Cooper as Chris Kyle and Sienna Miller as Taya in Warner Bros. Pictures and Village Roadshow Pictures drama American Sniper. The story of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle has received both praise and criticism since its release in January.

Bradley Cooper as Chris Kyle and Sienna Miller as Taya in Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Village Roadshow Pictures’ drama “American Sniper.” The story of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle has received both praise and criticism since its release in January.

Sky Fought

Kent State moviegoers have been flocking to the theatres to see the box office hit, “American Sniper.” In the movie’s first week, it set the record for best-ever January opening, taking in over $105 million at the box office, according to Entertainment Weekly.

Clint Eastwood’s adaptation of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle’s autobiography has gotten mixed reviews from the overall public and closer to home at Kent State. The movie had incredible hype surrounding it, especially coming from social media, which pulled students in to make a trip to a theatre.

Sarah DiGirolamo, a junior communication studies major, said she heard a lot of bad things about the movie, which caused her to have low expectations when going to see the film.

“It surprised me,” she said. “I thought it was really good.”

DiGirolamo said she thought the movie did a good job not glamorizing war and what goes on with soldiers overseas. She said because they showed the snipers shooting civilians, it made the movie feel more accurate.

“(The movie) didn’t make soldiers look good like we normally expect them to do.” she said.

Army Corporal Justin Beamer, a freshman exploratory major, said the movie did a good job portraying what soldiers go through overseas and when they come back home.

“They didn’t make the movie to just tell Chris’s story,” Beamer said, “They made it to show those who haven’t gone through it what it’s like for us.” He said it does not matter if you have lived through combat or not, as a solider the things you experience, see and smell stay with your forever.

Other students, like Drew Major, a senior nursing student, had the opposite view. He said he heard it was a good movie and he was excited to see it. After viewing the movie, he said it definitely did not meet his expectations.

“(Like a lot of movies) It got way over-hyped to the point where you think it’s going to be this ground breaking movie, and it just was average.” Major said.

One thing Major thought the movie did well was show the affect disorders, like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), can have on soldiers and their loved ones. He said the scenes where Kyle was having problems with himself and his family added depth to the movie.

Nikolaus Bernadone, a junior criminal justice major and a member of the Army National Guard, said the movie did a great job portraying PTSD.

“It changes people, and I feel the movie really showed what goes on in a soldiers mind,” Bernadone said.

Josh Rider, director of the Center for Adult and Veteran Services, agrees the way Eastwood and his crew portrayed PTSD and social anxiety was fantastic.

“The way they showed the hyperawareness and the going zero to 300 miles an hour in sixty seconds, which is appropriate in combat but not in civilian life, did a great service to veterans,” Rider said.

“American Sniper” has helped open a door to a side of the world civilians may never get to experience. The movie, though a snapshot of one person’s life, helps create an understanding of what a soldier’s life abroad is like.

“I think that anyone who goes to see this that isn’t in the military will come out of it with a little more respect for those who volunteered to serve their country,” Beamer said.

Contact Sky Fought at [email protected].