Movie Analysis: American Sniper

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The movie American Sniper follows the life and military career of one of the United States’ best snipers in history, Chris Kyle. Kyle grew up in Texas and joined the military as a young man, enlisting in the Navy SEALs. After the 9/11 attacks, Kyle served four tours in Iraq and amassed the most kills in U.S. military sniper history. After his tours, Kyle returned home to his wife and ran a program helping disabled veterans. In 2013, however, Kyle was shot by one of the veterans he was trying to help who was suffering from PTSD. The in 2014, a movie based on Kyle’s life was made. In telling Kyle’s story, the movie portrays him as an all American hero and purports traditional American values. The opening scenes of American Sniper (beginning to…show more content…
The American cultural values are highlighted through the depiction of the proud American way in the flashback narration, in which Kyle hunts, goes to church, and protects his brother. While establishing these values, this also helps characterize Kyle as a decent American, which is important later in the film when the audience sees what Kyle’s job as a sniper entails. The mise en scene also helps characterize Kyle and highlight the typical Americanness with reference to the human figure, the way the setting is portrayed, the lighting, and the composition of the shots. All these elements appear to make Kyle seem like the ultimate good guy/ patriot protecting his country. Additionally, the mise en scene depicts America in a bright way, with light colors and well put together, while the Middle East is depicted with dark colors and as run down, again depicting the cultural idea of the Middle East as broken and of America as a place of opportunity. With these characterizations and cultural ideals established in the first few scenes, the tone and message of the film is set up from the beginning. The audience is made aware of the message early in the film (that Kyle is a good guy who respects the traditional American values established in the film) to ensure that they root for the correct side (Kyle even though he was responsible for many deaths), which is why the elements of these opening scenes are vital to the

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