Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard take audiences on a whirlwind trip of high adventure, passionate romance and deadly secrets in Robert Zemeckis’ WWII thriller Allied.
In directing Allied, Zemeckis brings to life the bygone era of the mid-1940s when tensions were high, and the world was at war. Here we find Canadian aviator and OSS operative Max Vatan (Pitt), parachuted into Casablanca to join a French resistance fighter named Marianne Beausejour (Cotillard), as they plan to assassinate a high-ranking Nazi official. From the outset, Zemeckis captures a nerve-biting tension that comes from the idea of Vatan and Beausejour being watched constantly from every corner. As an audience member you never feel that they are entirely safe, and this only intensifies as the pair move back to London following their mission. Zemeckis also doesn’t hold back on the danger, and there’s plenty of gunfights and battles that’ll have you on edge.
In addition to the nail-bitingly tense atmosphere of his WWII-era spies, Zemeckis has also done a wonderful job of capturing a certain essence of glamor. This is especially evident in Casablanca where both Pitt and Cotillard are clothed in gorgeous period costumes, and the set design and art direction captures the timeless nature of classic WWII-era romance films. This attention to detail pulls you deeper into the world of Allied and heightens the ramifications of the decisions that Max faces in relation to his wife, who is eventually labeled a German spy by his superiors and results in deadly choices from Max.
Both Pitt and Cotillard do an amazing job on screen together, and you can really feel the passion and chemistry that exists between their two characters. As ace spy Max Vatan, Pitt channels his inner Humphrey Bogart as this cool, calm and collected soldier who never loses it when the going gets tough. But while he may have no hesitation in executing German troops, his heart turns out to be his greatest enemy, especially in relation to the impossible task that is laid before him when accusations are leveled that Marianne is a German spy. Cotillard on the other hand, never gives an inch as Marianne, and you’ll be scratching your head right up until the very end as to whether she is or is not a double agent. Her performance is flawless, making her character a thrill to watch.
While we have to remain closed lipped in order to not reveal the film’s plot and ending, fans of period films are guaranteed an excellent time at the movies with this engaging and intensely emotional cinematic experience.
Image: Paramount Pictures