Caught in a Nightmare: 'The Sniper' A Struggle Between Humanity and Instinct - AmNews Curtain Raiser


Monday, June 17, 2024

Caught in a Nightmare: 'The Sniper' A Struggle Between Humanity and Instinct

REVIEW:  THE SNIPER directed by Dastan Khalil

Caught in a Nightmare: The Sniper's Struggle Between Humanity and Instinct

Ex-military sniper Reagan (Johanna Watts) is caught in a nightmare. She’s forgotten what it’s like to be a human being and not a cold-hearted and skilled murderer. This trained killer only feels comfort when her rifle (fully loaded and ready to murder innocent people) is within arm’s length.

Every good script begins with raising the central question. Here, with the screenplay written by Chris Calzia, the question is simple: Can Reagan change from her killer mode back to being a human being? The facts of the matter seem to be that the US Army trained this young woman too well. And now, she’s caught in a raging battle inside her head, mind, and soul.

Director Dastan Khalili has moved the story along well. Reagan feels caged and lost without the act of destruction, and clearly, she’s possessed by something dark and sinister. How could a normal person want to see such pain inflicted on innocent people?

Is she obsessed? Is she cursed? Or is she exactly what the U.S. military wants her to be—a disposable killing machine?

The film opens with tension. Reagan has her gun fixed on a potential target, a couple (Isabella Philips and Ezra Eells). Her finger quivers … and so the story begins.

Seasoned director Khalili understands how to provide tension while asking bigger questions about morality and the nature of trauma for all soldiers. There is enough of an emotional jolt to keep a viewer engaged until the end.

2024 Los Angeles: Alliance of Light will distribute The Sniper on available VOD platforms at the end of 2024.

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