World War 2 drama with Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard as Allied Spies who on a mission fall in love. The big problem is that the better story in the film isn’t told.
Pitt stars as Max Vatan who is a Canadian Air Force Wing Commander and one of the top spies that the British secret service use to perform their most dangerous missions. When he parachutes in to Casablanca to execute a German official he meets Marianne who has been part of the French resistance team and working undercover for the Germans in Casablanca. They use her cover to get invited to a party that the Official is going to be attending. After this mission they fall in love and marry. After the birth of their child there is a question over Marianne as to if she is who she claims to be. Max must either prove Marianne is who she says she is or if she is a double agent then he has to put a bullet in her head.
So the thing is that the production values are fine, music and photography, Pitt seems to have forgotten how to act well, but he’s ok. Cotillard is fantastic and just blows everyone off the screen with her subtle and passionate performance. What is the massive problem here is that the better story is not told, and I can’t go into that, because it would spoil everything. The story that we do focus on, for the second half of the film, is that of Pitt running around looking down because the woman he loves might not be the woman that he loves and that she is a double agent. It’s a race against time as Pitt has 72 hours before, according to the rules of the spy game, having to kill the woman who betrayed him. If he doesn’t then he gets killed too.
Jared Harris stars as Pitt’s commanding officer and it’s always nice to watch Harris, as he manages to change emotion on a dime. When you watch the film you get a feeling that Director Robert Zemeckis didn’t know exactly what film he wanted to make. The first half is the mission in Casablanca, which to be honest could have been a film in itself, the tense nature of the Nazi occupation is captured brilliantly. Then we get back to England and things start to fall apart in the film.
Once back in Britain you start to not care about the characters as much as you did in Africa, it’s a strange feeling as a viewer. One minute you are getting into these characters developing a relationship during a mission and trying to make something more of that, the next we’re going through a spy hunt which should have been the most exciting part of the film but it’s too muddled for us to care about.
The costume department does a magnificent job here with the varying styles and locations that they have to dress the performers for.
While I have major problems with Allied it is still better than most films that try to attempt this type of story, that’s down to Cotillard for me. How could this have been saved? Maybe we should have seen this story spread out in a TV Mini Series, where we could have seen a more fully rounded story come out. There is enough in here to do something fantastic, and I have to say that the Mini Series that we used to get during the 80’s and 90’s should make a return so we can have these stories fully brought to life. Allied is going to be great for fans of Pitt and Cotillard, also fans of World War 2 stories will find a lot to like, it’s just the better story is so underused that it almost hurts.
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Writer: Steven Knight
Stars: Brad Pitt, Vincent Ebrahim, Xavier De Guillebon