“Allied” is a film that pairs true romance with country loyalty amidst the horrors and chaos of World War 2, and leaves the viewer on pins and needles as they watch, with high stakes tension wrapped about a magnificent setting and superb acting performances.
Released in 2016 at the hands of Robert Zemeckis, “Allied” stars Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard as a pair of secret operatives that make the mistake of falling in love, despite the perilous nature of each other’s top secret military commitments.
“You’re very thorough.” Canadian Air force pilot and Wing Commander Max Vatan (Pitt) tells French Resistance fighter Marianne Beauséjour (Cotillard) upon first meeting her and setting up their mission to assassinate the German ambassador. “That’s why I’m still alive.” She sternly replies. The pair meet in secrecy with the sole objective of the mission, eventually falling in love with one another, despite the confidential nature of their line of work.
The acting prowess each star demonstrates is a large part of what makes “Allied” such an intriguing story. We all know Brad Pitt as a Hollywood glamour guy, displaying perfect hair and eyes no matter the role.
At first I scoffed at the notion of Pitt successfully pulling off the character of Max Vatan – the opening scene depicting him parachuting into the desert had me rolling my eyes. But once the story gets moving, you’ll agree that he is the perfect choice for the part.
Opposite Pitt is the French born Marion Cotillard, whose credits include a handful of appearances in lesser known movies. Cotillard does a splendid job in her role of espionage as Marion Beauséjour, with unparalleled beauty that will keep you mesmerized with each and every scene she is in.
Both characters demonstrate true feelings for each other, as Max calmly orders Marianne to “Come to London and be my wife.” Each can also show why they are militants by nature, getting appropriately violent when needed.
I loved the setting of the story, which opens in Casablanca in 1942, and eventually takes us to London, and the French countryside. As the relationship between Max and Marianne flourishes, the deadly perils and bloodshed of the war are never out of sight.
One particularly chilling and vivid scene depicts the German Luftwaffe in a nighttime bombing raid of Hampstead, gunfire and flames erupting across the dark sky, the haunting cadence of air raid sirens blasting in the distance.
While the dusty streets of French Morocco that open the movie are enviable on all fronts, we’re quickly offered reminders of just how terrible this period of time was for everyone in the civilized world.
“Allied” and its 2 hour run time is broken down into three distinct parts, and while the middle of the film depicting Max and Marianne’s marriage is a bit slow as one may expect, it is thankfully short lived as the thrilling final act is presented when Max’s superior officers advise him they believe his beautiful new bride is in fact a German spy – leaving Max 72 hours to prove her innocence or be forced to execute her himself in a true battle of love versus country loyalty.
“Allied” has a tremendous final act, with the high tensions mounting as the clock ticks away, and Brad Pitt carries the performance as a highly believable character thrust into this seemingly lose-lose situation.
The viewer is offered several clues to support either side of the case, and the ultimate reveal is not shown until the very end.
“Allied” is a great movie that displays a realistic love story between two people who are unfortunately caught up in events that are out of their control. It boasts a captivating historical setting without overly bloating itself on the war.
by – Matt DeCristo