“I keep the emotions real, I am thorough. That’s why I’m still alive.”
Marion Cotillard plays expert WWII spy and resistance fighter Marianne Beauséjour. In Casablanca, (yep THAT Casablanca), she meets her “husband” Max Vatan (Brad Pitt), also a spy, and the two begin a mission set by the allies to overthrow the German Ambassador to Morocco.
Their plan is simple; pretend to be in love and play house until they can gain the trust of some top Nazi officials, and assassinate the ambassador from the inside. However, one thing doesn’t go to plan – they actually do fall in love.
After completing their mission, Max takes Marianne back to London to properly marry her. Only a year after they’ve settled into their new home with a new-born baby, Max is called into his work where he is informed by a higher-ranking S.O.E official that Marianne could actually be a Nazi double-agent, and is sending top-secret information back to Germany.
It all results to a sexy and sophisticated espionage thriller.
Things heat up pretty quickly, and it’s kind of impossible to take your eyes off the screen. Cotillard gives away absolutely no hints about her character, and there’s true suspense in the intimate scenes between the two leads.
It’s a great conflict for a story, particularly because it’s so simple yet so engrossing to watch. There’s also some top-notch camera sequences by director Robert Zemeckis, and his use of silence and point-of-view creates some truly exciting and unsettling scenes.
At times, however, things can feel a bit too Mr and Mrs Smith-y for my liking. With Brad Pitt as the lead, this notion becomes hard to escape especially for the first half hour or so. It also must be noted – he is pretty poor here. Reminiscent of his dire Troy performance, you become acutely aware that he is trying to act.
That said, for me, the only real let-down was in the final act. Unfortunately for these types of films (or TV shows; Homeland, for example), they can back themselves into a corner with only two possible end scenarios, and there really isn’t that much room for a surprise finale. But the larger themes still grab hold, causing us to question how well we really know somebody, even if we love and trust them unconditionally.
In short, Allied makes for a more than worthy date-night flick.