Allied, directed by Robert Zemeckis, at its core has two actors with a believable and engrossing chemistry. From the first time the two characters meet, to the final scene of the film, you believe in the relationship that drives this film. It’s just a shame that the film doesn’t give it the time or the space that it needs to develop fully. There is certainly something enchanting about this film, but the problems are difficult to not see. So let’s get a review underway, and see how the film shapes up.
The story in, Allied follows two spies who are working behind enemy lines: Max Vatan – played by Brad Pitt – and Marianne Beauséjour – played by Marion Cotillard. They are tasked with killing a high-ranking Nazi officer and their cover sees them pretending to be husband and wife – despite having never met one another before. While on their mission, the two fall for one another, and after they see their mission through, they head back to London to embark with real marriage; one that is not filled with codenames and the threat of discovery. However, an unexpected revelation surfaces, and it is something that could forever alter both their lives (past and present).
The absolute strength of this film is its lead actors and the undeniable chemistry that they both exude. Both of them immediately have this aura about them that just screams history and love. Much like the other characters in the film, I too could fully believe that they had been married for years; despite knowing they had only just met. It’s the dichotomy between the scenes in which they are pretending to be lovers and the scenes where they are very honestly talking about the cold calculated lengths they must go to, to fool people that make watching them, so interesting. It really does make for some layered experiences, within the scenes.
It’s also here that Marion Cotillard (Marianne Beauséjour) shines in her performance. The confidence that she brings to the character, the air of knowledge she exudes; there is just a presence to Marianne (and also Cottillard) in the film that is intoxicating. Brad Pitt (Max Vatan) on the other hand is a little shaky in the film. Some of his delivery is a little off, and for the scenes in which he leads by himself, I was not always convinced by the performance he was giving. It was when both he and Cottillard were together that I truly saw the best of both of them.
Every scene in which both the actors, and characters, share time together on-screen, are the true highlights of the film; both of them play off one another so perfectly and I truly did believe in every moment that they both shared.
So it’s a shame that later on in the film, it loses focus on the element that was its most rewarding to watch. As the plot unfolds, and we learn that, Marianne Beauséjour may not be who she says she is; a tense mystery begins to unfold, one that plagues, Max Vatan. Here the film could have really benefited from watching the two characters being in more scenes where one suspects the other of being a liar and a spy, while the other is completely oblivious to the fact that their (suspected) cover might have been blown. Instead the film continues to focus on watching, Max Vatan running around London attempting to uncover if his wife is who the British intelligence agency believe her to be. Taking the two away from one another and not diving deeper into how these dangerous accusations may end up affecting their relationship, is a huge misstep on the films part. I needed so much more on the ramifications of their personal everyday lives being affected, and less on the attempts to solve the mystery.
I would have also preferred a slower, more engaging pace from the film. Even though I was obsessed with the relationship that had formed between the films leads, I did feel that it rushed some of the most important parts of their initial story. Particularly in the first act, the film moves at such a pace, that I felt I wasn’t able to properly gain all I needed from their newly bustling relationship. This did have an effect as the film went on – not one that ruined my experience – but one that certainly left a mark of incompleteness.
But the film is able to pull it together in the end; delivering something that is emotionally charged and satisfying in its chosen direction. I wasn’t sure how I wanted things to play-out (I ran a few scenarios thorough my head, over the course of the film) but the conclusion that the film gave me, was one that I felt worked and really added to the overall experience that the film offered.
Ultimately I received a film that delighted with its main love story; intrigued me with its suspected double-cross within that love story, and also had some tense and exciting moments where I wasn’t sure of the outcome – it also isn’t a bad-looking film either; capturing the look of both Casablanca and London perfectly. So yes, the faults in this film are clear to see, and for some they may be a turnoff – which I totally understand – but for me there was still enough in this film, which kept me, engaged and kept me wanting to watch until the end.
So I will be recommending, ‘Allied’. I enjoyed my time with the film, and though I would have liked a few of its key elements to have been tidied up a little bit, I’m still more than pleased with what I got. And I hope you will be as well.
What are your thoughts on, Allied? Let me know in the comments down below. If you’re interested in reading more of my reviews, may I suggest either giving my blog a follow, or following me over on Twitter – @GavinsTurtle. That way you’ll know when I post a new one. Thanks for taking the time to read this, and anything else I may have written, you swell human being.