Allied tells the story of World War II operatives Max & Marianne, portrayed by Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard respectively, who fall in love on a mission and decide spending the rest of their lives together is something they’d like to experience. When Max finds out a suspicious tip about his beloved wife, doubt creeps into their relationship and we’re left wondering, what will happen now? The film also stars Lizzy Caplan, Jared Harris and is directed by Robert Zemeckis (Back To The Future, Forrest Gump).
My Thoughts On The Characters And Story
Marion Cotillard is absolutely divine in Allied, it’s just a shame the actual film does not live up to the amazing performance she’s giving. From the moments where her character is at the pinnacle of happiness to the scenes that call on her raw emotion, Cotillard’s talent is showcased beautifully in the film. Brad Pitt, on the other hand… I truly think he was asleep for most of the production, I was not a fan of his portrayal of a man who is faced with the most important decision he will (potentially) ever make in his life.
Occasionally it felt like he was deciding what to put on his Subway sandwich moreso than attempting to portray any type of emotion connected to the immense betrayal his character felt toward Marianne.
Due to his performance, it was a little bit difficult to feel any sort of intense chemistry or connection between the two, although there were certainly moments where their talents shone and you felt something for this couple. Lizzy Caplan also had a small role as Max’s sister and the few moments she was on screen were great. The other secondary characters were fine with no particular standouts.
The progression of the story was intriguing at times, the first act is actually set up really well; I enjoyed seeing Cotillard and Pitt’s characters attempt to develop some type of relationship together albeit she was light years ahead of him in terms of me feeling anything for either. The film’s various revelations that are made do serve the plot well, however because I had no connection with this couple, the revelations kind of made me think, “oh… Okay. That’s a nice way to further the plot.” There are also certain callbacks to the classic of all classics, the Michael Curtiz-directed Casablanca (1942) that I rather enjoyed… There is one major plot point that is a direct plot reference to the film that made me also think, “really?? Well… Okay then…”
I had an issue with one particular aspect to it in terms of character motivation that I will spoil in the following sentence: SPOILER Max easily could have written down the message intended for Marianne, crumpled it up then flushed it down the toilet after they had sex so there would be no way for her to read it. We see his vehement denial of his wife being a traitor and he clearly doesn’t care about waiting for orders/using young pilots to do his dirty work, so it isn’t out of the realm of comprehension that he wouldn’t just say he wrote the letter and she possibly read it so if they don’t receive confirmation, then she isn’t a spy and he can live in happy ignorant bliss. END SPOILER
How Were The Other Aspects To ‘Allied’?
Allied is a beautiful looking movie, I will give it that. There are a number of shots directed masterfully by Zemeckis (surprise, surprise!) that are genuinely amazing. As a fanatical fan of period pieces, this film ticks all the boxes in terms of creating an atmosphere rich in decor, fashion and music. There is one sequence in which the incredible Goodman classic Sing, Sing, Sing plays throughout and caused some toe tapping on my end.
Zemeckis is one of my personal favourite directors of all-time and it is so frustrating to see a kernel of a fucking brilliant, intense idea being helmed by one of the Greats yet it just falls flat in terms of expanding on that kernel to create a compelling drama… We always have the prospect of Back To The Future IV though, right…? 😉
If you’re looking for a beautiful-looking period piece with attractive individuals and an execution that is relatively meh, check out Allied.
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Allied receives 3/5 Matt Damon heads.