In 1942, a Canadian intelligence officer in North Africa encounters a female French Resistance fighter on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. When they reunite in London, their relationship is tested by the pressures of war.
At the height of World War II, in turbulent 1942, the fearless Wing Commander, Max Vatan, lands on the desert dunes of Morocco to meet with the Parisian member of the French Resistance, Marianne Beauséjour. After a botched attempt to eliminate an elusive target during a suicide mission in the heart of Casablanca, Max and Marianne flee to England intent on starting a family soon; however, heavy clouds of distrust and suspicion will burden their already difficult relationship, when Max receives a shocking call from the Secret Service Division. In disbelief--with a terrible task in his hands, and crushed under a devastating dilemma--Max must summon up the courage to seek for answers in the perilous streets of a bombarded London, regardless of the outcome. Now, amid duty and love, who shall live and who shall die?Written by
A wartime romance that could have been epic, but didn't quite make it
'Allied' has garnered a mixed reaction, on IMDb and with critics in general. This is completely understandable, and the mixed reaction and the reasoning for it mirrors my own feelings for the film. 'Allied' is not a bad film, but from seeing the trailers (which strongly suggested a film that would be more epic, more moving and more thrilling) to be honest was expecting a lot more.
There is a lot to like about 'Allied'. Visually, it is a gorgeous film. The cinematography is rich in atmosphere and colour and is quite poetic too, while the sets, scenery and costumes are evocative and eye-catching. The music by Alan Silvestri is neither too intrusive or too low-key, instead stirring when it needs to be and understated again when needed. There are some thrilling and harrowing moments as well as some poignant ones in the more intimate scenes, personally thought the controversial ending was quite emotional but can definitely see why it won't work for some.
Marion Cotillard gives a nuanced and deeply felt turn, nothing short of sensational. Brad Pitt's performance has been criticised (as well as defended), to me it was appropriately stoic, despite his character being nowhere near as meaty as Cotillard's, and he was a worthy partner for Cotillard, a little cold in places but mostly fiery. The supporting cast are fine.
On the other hand, the script and pacing are uneven. The script is 'Allied's' biggest flaw, lacking plausibility in places, especially in the mission scenes, having too much padding that's overlong and adds little to nothing and some of the parts intended to be emotional laid it on too thick with the treacle and sentimentality. Much more could have been done with the psychological subtext, which would have made Pitt's character more interesting and given the story more consistent suspense and thrills.
Pacing does drag badly frequently, primarily due to having superfluous scenes that lacked momentum and went on too long and also due to Robert Zemeckis' quite disappointing direction. There are moments, but it is a case of getting the job done but in a workmanlike and tame fashion, not the thrills and cleverness one expects from Zemeckis that is present in the best of his work.
In summary, had potential to be epic as a wartime romance, but doesn't quite make it. Many great things, but a few big things that got in the way of fulfilling full potential. 6/10 Bethany Cox
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