Directed by Robert Zemeckis, “Allied” is a romantic thrillers set during World War II. It stars Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard as a military intelligence officer and a French resistance officer who fall in love in Casablanca on a mission to kill a Nazi officer. Ultimately, it is a good movie—though far from being perfect, but more on that later. First, it’s time to discuss the plot.
The movie begins with a Canadian intelligence officer arriving in Casablanca, Morocco where he is told that his “wife” will be wearing a purple dress. That wife is revealed to be a French resistance fighter, and they both—at first—come off as quite cold to one another. Over time, they eventually fall in love with one another. They are on a mission to assassinate a Nazi officer. And the mission is ultimately successful with both characters escaping unscathed, so he asks her to join him in London. Once there, she is screened and allowed to move to London where they get married and have a child. However, shortly after the child is born, it is discovered that someone is sending British intelligence messages to Germany. Due to various other types of evidence, she is believed to be the most likely culprit. He, of course, doesn’t believe she is the spy and sets out to prove she isn’t. In doing so, however, he starts to reluctantly suspect that she may be the spy.
This movie is ultimately worth watching for two reasons. This may not be the best thriller ever made or even the best thriller of the year, but it does succeed in the most important aspects of the genre. The movie is very gripping, though not due to the pacing. It’s somewhat slow moving, but it still succeeds by making the audience guess—frequently. This part of the movie is rather brilliant, because despite setting up the likely twist very early on it does a rather good job of convincing the audience of something else throughout. In addition, Marion Cotillard deserves to be singled out for praise. She is predictably brilliant in the movie, but this may be her strongest performance in a genre film.
On the flip side, however, this is among the weakest performances I’ve seen from Brad Pitt. He gives a very wooden performance that only makes Cotillard’s performance seem that much better. Basically, this movie can conceivably receive both Academy Award and Golden Raspberry nominations for acting. In addition, there were some historical inaccuracies (mainly due to modern societal norms, as opposed to historical ones). This mainly involves Pitt’s lesbian sister living in a world where she is largely accepted. This wouldn’t have happened in 1942, and she would have been thrown in prison if her sexuality ever became public (homosexuality wasn’t legalized in England until 1967). However, I’ll get off my soap box now.
In addition, I feel it is easier to judge this movie harder than one would normally judge it. Basically, it seemed as if Zemeckis was blatantly attempting to make his own version of “Casablanca,” and those are some pretty big shoes to fill.