Allied

Allied_(film)

Picture Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Allied is a romantic thriller set during World War II starring Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard.  Cotillard stars as french resistance fighter Marianne Beausejour and the role couldn’t be more suitable for her. Just looking at her and listening to her speak she exudes french sophistication, you have to wonder if she simply just woke up ready for filming each day.  Brad Pitt stars as Max Vatan, a Canadian intelligence officer who is paired with Marianne to pose as a married couple in Casablanca, French Morocco.  Marianne has befriended much of the society and has created a facade of a loving couple.  When Max arrives he simply has to play the part she has crafted for them.  As they gain the confidence of the locals and the Germans the two must carry out their mission to attack and kill a German officer.  Though their relationship is for show, Marianne and Max begin to have feelings for each other and the two move to England where they are married and have a child together.

The two settled down in England where Max continues to work for the war effort while Marianne stays home to tend to their child.  Happy and in love the two create the picture of a perfect family, but with spies everywhere during the war it does not take long for a bomb to drop that could destroy everything they had worked so hard for.

There is something about WWII that always catches my attention.  There are so many stories, real and fictitious and many more than will never be shared.  Secrets, greed, corruption, bravery and love.  It has all the makings for an amazing story though it is completely drenched in poison for the absolutely despicable things that also occurred.  While the story of Max and Marianne could very well be true, many of the sceneries depicted in the film were very far from real.  I can understand that certain scenes can become very costly and the cost compared with the impact it will have on the film sometimes wins.  There is a scene where Max and Marianne make love in a vehicle while trapped in the desert during a storm and while I should have been focused on the story and their passion, I could not help but be distracted by the cheap theatrics and attempts to produce a real desert storm.  The effects and efforts into some of the scenes were borderline campy and I had to wonder if this was done on purpose.  I would have almost pictured them sailing off on a boat next with cardboard cutouts of waves being pulled back and forth in front of the ship to give the illusion of being out at sea.  At this point even if they had done that I would have accepted it as part of the film.

I remembered seeing the preview for this movie and putting it on the TO see list of movies.  There was something about the film that caught my eye and I was ready for an action packed film with war, love and drama.  Instead the film was very tame and seemed to be lacking in many of the things I was expecting.  After the movie was over I actually had to stop and think if I had been imagining things I had assumed were from the trailer that I expected to happen that never did.  The story and impact was in the relationship of Max and Marianne, but as much effort they may have put into the facade of their relationship I couldn’t help be distracted by the thought that something was missing.  Though Brad Pitt is well known to all for his acting abilities, his character was so stoic and reserved that he easily blended into the background giving way to Cotillard’s shinning performance.  Max’s sister, Bridget Vatan (Lizzy Caplan) is also part of the military but seems like a forced addition to the cast.  Her character really has no impact on the story but rather a ploy to adding a gay character during a time that an openly gay woman would have seemed more taboo rather than so commonplace as the film made it seem.

The potential for the film and the story was lost somewhere along the way and unfortunately was the undoing for the film making it into one of those lost artifacts that gets forgotten in a dollar movie bin along with the lost stories from wars past.

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