I chose the 2015 Clint Eastwood film, American Sniper. I have always been a fan of military based movies from the likes of Lone Survivor to Blackhawk Down, but something about American Sniper really intrigued me to go watch it. I can contribute that to the excellent marking tactics of the movie poster and the movie trailer. American Sniper is a drama film/documentary on the most lethal sniper that has ever graced the armed forces, Chris Kyle.
The movie trailer, like for many movies, fueled the burning passion for me to go see this movie. It cuts to a scene of Chris Kyle watching over the ground units as they advance when a mom and her young boy walk out into their path. The son unfortunately has a grenade and starts running at the American troops. In a split second Chris has to make the decision to kill the poor young boy or save his brothers from potential harm. Now if that isn't Pathos then I don't know what is. That scene alone gets you emotions jumbled, you start to put yourself in the situation and decipher what you would do if you were in his shoes. You can also make an argument towards Ethos because these split second moments really shape and define Chris as a character, now some of those decisions may not be ethical in your opinion that is what the director is going for. Clint Eastwood wants to put his viewers into the mind of what it is like to be a true American soldier protecting our freedom on a daily basis.
Throughout the film, there are many transitions from when Chris is deployed in Afghanistan to when he is back home with his family in Texas. These two "lives" of Chris are essential to the plot of the movie, now while Chris loves being on the battlefield he knows he is giving up that time he could be with his family and this is evident throughout the movie when Chris and his wife fight over the phone or when she tells him she is pregnant. I think the movie poster depicts these two sides perfectly. If you look at Bradly Coopers face you can tell he is struggling with some internal issues, he has the face of someone who is worn down and tired but yet you still have the faint shadow of an American flag waving behind him symbolizing the other half of the fight.
I think the movie poster is pretty clean cut on the fact that the movie is a drama/documentary based film. Their are many visual elements that contribute to this like the coloring of the American flag but the faint use of color even a silhouette image of Chris Kyle. Clint Eastwood wants your eyes to attract to the American flag and the use of vibrant colors. I think the tagline " The Most Lethal Sniper In American History" depicts exactly the message/theme of the film. If you also see up towards the top of the poster how they highlight Bradly Cooper as he is a very popular actor and with that comes more views and ticket sales. Now granted his name is a highlight of the poster I believe they decided to make it relatively small compared to the poster as a whole because they really want you to focus on Chris and the American flag.
I strongly encourage anyone who has not yet got the privilege to enjoy this film to watch it in their free time. It is not only a outstanding documentary on a true American hero who laid down his life for the betterment of this country and those who reside in it but it is also extremely intense and will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout.