Cydniey Buffers (cydniey) wrote,
Cydniey Buffers

An Open Letter to an Empty Chair

I’ve gotten through half of “American Sniper”. My ineffable companion has braved the whole movie in one sitting.

My first question to the empty chair (You have to pretend that Clint Eastwood, with a ball gag, is in the chair), is: Is your portrayal of Chris Kyle, however loosely based on the book’s Chris Kyle, the image of our proud and moral soldiers that you want the world to have of the USA’s warriors?

See, Eastwood’s Kyle is, or begins as, a good ol’ boy. Not much on book learnin’ or thinkin’ for himself. He doesn’t question what he sees on TV, he just reacts. And he reacts hard. He throws himself into the role of American Superhero, going for being a SEAL.

At this point, Clint, or Empty Chair, I have to say it was neat to see some of the SEAL training. Adding that footage was a solid win. You showed what our people go through to do their eventual jobs, and it was enlightening. Chair, I give you credit where it is due.

The mixed feelings at the call to deploy was pretty right on the money, too. In a way is is a celebration, the soldiers have been training and preparing and they are finally going to get to work with their new-found skills. There is some melancholy, how can there not be? But that scene felt genuine, too. Again, well done, Chair. I actually forgot that I hated your version of Chris Kyle for a few minutes.

But then Chris goes on his first tour. And really, Chair, it is all down hill from there. Then he turns into a killing machine. There are a few “feels” thrown in, head bowed after killing the mother and child and the rebuke of his victorious partner. But that is the first and last we see in the first half of the movie of any emotion in this man. And at this point I have to wonder, was he like that in his autobiography, or what it something that Chair put on the character?

And Chair, I have to ask … what made you think it was a good idea to portray our snipers on the phone with their wife who wants to talk dirty, while waiting to make a kill shot, or in the middle of a firefight? Do we really want the world thinking we are that easily distracted? Was this the best of ideas? What really was your motive? I’m sure that Chris Kyle had plenty of down time to contact his wife. Calling her while trying to kill people is just gross, and frankly, grounds for divorce.

Okay Empty Chair/Clint Eastwood, I’m going to go watch the rest of the movie, and send someone out for the book. I’ve enjoyed our chat and hope you return to chat about the rest of the movie. We have yet to discuss the “impossible shot” that I have read so much about.

Sincerely Cydniey Buffers

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