Monday, September 26, 2016

American Sniper

Michael Knowlton
                American Sniper is a great movie with many powerful and emotional scenes and experiences.     Sadly, according to the rep test, American Sniper is not a very good movie. After going through the rep test, American Sniper received a C as a grade and only received 6 points out of 27.  In the women’s category, American Sniper received one point for representing women as more than just objects for the male viewers. Throughout the movie there are only two female characters and neither one of them spoke to each other the entire movie. I do not believe that either one of them served as “eye candy” for male viewers. For example, although Taya Kyle (Sienna Miller) was a good looking woman, her primary was a mother and a supporting wife. Nonetheless, viewers were rarely exposed to Taya Kyle, instead, the director focused more on Chris Kyle’s experiences of war.
                As for the male category, American Sniper receive two points: 1) It glorifies violent men and 2) It includes male of color who are not reduced to stereotypes. The whole proves that it glorifies violent men, considering the fact that it is about a Navy Seal sniper killing terrorists and being praised for his “success” in killing. Although he is killing bad people, it is still violence and he is being glorified for that violence. The second point is still true. If viewers want to consider the terrorists as stereotypical, there is still evidence of Muslims who were not. For example, the translator for the American military, also African American soldiers that were not displayed in a stereotypical way, instead he was displayed as a regular military soldier. He acted and carried himself like every other soldier in the movie.  Also, the film avoided celebrating any offensive stereotypes.
                For the Race, Ethnicity & Culture section, American Sniper received one point because there is no evidence or any demonstration of celebrating any type of stereotype. The movie focused on telling a true story, of course with a few Hollywood dramatizations, about Chris Kyle and his adventures. One could argue that this film is “American propaganda” aimed at the stereotype that Americans dislike Muslims. Now, the issue with this argument is that the movie does not depict every Muslim as a terrorist. There are many

victims, such as the man who was actually question by the American military and later tortured by the terrorists. This man was trying to help the Americans catch a very dangerous and violent terrorist. Therefore, the movie does avoid celebrating offensive stereotypes. The movie sticks to mostly factual events that happened to Chris, and didn’t attempt to do any other type of entertainment or send any other message.
                War comes with a lot of side-effects, and Chris experienced some of these effects. Chris Kyle develops PTSD and actually experiences it at a party where his daughter was playing with the dog and he believed it was attacking her. He then jumped on top of the dog and held it down, all of a sudden, he snapped back to reality and realized where he was and as he was looking around, everyone was in awe at what they had just witnessed. Instead of giving two, I gave one point for Chris having developed a disability, PTSD. For having developed the disability and did not start the movie with it, I believe that the movie only deserves one point and not two.

All of the previously listed categories are points that American Sniper received. As for the organization of the test and the aspects included in it, it ultimately depends on the type of movie. I do not disagree with any of the categories or ways to get points, but it doesn’t truly show the value of a movie. There are plenty of movies that probably do not meet these standards and are still considered great movies. I believe that this does not reflect how good a movie is but instead serves as proof that women, minorities, and members of the LGBT community are not often depicted and if they are, it is in a negative way.

No comments:

Post a Comment