A group blog featuring an international array of killer mystery, suspense, and romantic suspense writers. With premises and story lines different from your run-of-the-mill whodunits, we tend to write outside the box. We blog several times a week on all topics relating to romantic suspense and mystery, our writing, and our readers. We welcome all comments and often have guest bloggers. All our authors can be contacted separately, too, using their own social media links.

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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Let's talk about a movie!

I went to see American Sniper on the weekend. I've read a lot of autobiographies written by soldiers and SEALs who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, but I hadn't read this one. (I confess I knew the movie was coming and I'm lazy).

First off, let me say, I loved the movie. I've read a lot of the criticism aimed at the film but for me it was a simple story following one man's life as a SEAL and the effect that life had on his marriage. The whole movie is perfectly shot. The graphic horror--the speed with which everything could go to hell? Very well done. I thought the characters were beautifully underplayed in terms of acting, and the most impressive thing to me was how the movie was told unflinchingly in terms of point of view (such an important lesson for writers to learn and apply). There is no room for doubt in this guy's mind. He is fighting a war against evil. End of story.

So that's what I liked about the movie. The one thing that detracted from the whole experience for me was the creation of the fictional olympic gold medalist sniper who is on the other side of the war. I 'got' it in terms of storytelling, but couldn't the guy have just been a really great shot without making him an Olympian? That little bit of Hollywood irked me. It's not true. There was no need for it and it made me doubt the integrity of the interpretation of the rest of the book. Now I'll have to listen to it on audio just to see what else they changed.

Bradley Cooper was amazing, as was Sienna Miller, an actress I've never really cared for before. The movie made her seem very human.

That Chris Kyle made it through the horrors of war, the years of separation to get back to his wife and kids, and fought the often unexpected mental battle of returning to civilian life--that was inspiring. The fact he was murdered by a vet he was trying to help? Heartbreaking. Gut-wrenching. It took the story in a circle that is so fictionally perfect it doesn't seem real.

So, have you seen the movie? Read the book? What did you think?


Anne Marie Becker said...

I have yet to see the movie or read the book, but I definitely want to! Bradley Cooper looks amazing in his portrayal. Can't wait!

Rita said...

Read the book. Don't know if I'll see the movie for the reason you stated. Hollywood can't seem to leave it alone. They do it over and over.
This is an aside. This is very near and close to my heart and soul.I cannot tell you how I resent the way some romance authors trivialize military men and in particular SEALs in their books.
Rant over.

Toni Anderson said...

Rita--I hear what you're saying. It's something I try very hard not to do.

Sandy Parks said...

Haven't seen the movie yet, but am looking forward to it. My family is military and my sons and niece have followed in the footsteps of their fathers. No one can really understand a military person unless they have lived the life. When your loved one goes off to war, I can't tell you how the fear of their safety weighs on everything you do. Great post!

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