In theatres to start the holiday weekend from director Robert Zemeckis, writer Steven Knight and Paramount Pictures is a tale of trust in wartime that is ALLIED.
It is 1942 in Morocco when military man Max Vatan (Brad Pitt) is sent undercover to assassinate a high German official. This assignment includes a cover of being married to Marianne Beausejour (Marion Cotillard) who welcomes him quite easily into her fold of friends.
Getting to know each other, Marianne explains how they must interact to get an invitation to a party where the official is the guest of honor. Not in the town a day the mission is in jeopardy when a German officer recognizes Vatan. Handling the situation, there next stop is to meet with Hobar (August Diehl) and pass inspection to get an invitation.
Unexpectedly, Vatan and Marianne fall in love and he convinces her to return to London where they are married. Happy and welcoming a daughter to their lives, it seemed an idyllic life in the middle of a war.
That is until his superior Frank Heslop (Jared Harris) informs him that V-section believes that Marianne not who she claims to be. Fearing that his life is about to be shattered, Vatan begins his own inquiries to discover if the woman that is his world seeks to destroy everything he has come to believe.
In war, who can you trust?
Pitt as Vatan is everything this period piece could bring to a character. He is sharply dressed, carries himself like a confident military man and I swear there are moments where he pulls a Clark Cable on me. The long looks, furrowed brow and deep drags on a cigarette give an air to his character. That and he looks pretty darn awesome if you really want to know.
Cotillard as Marianne is a forward, interesting, flamboyant and beautiful character. Marianne wastes no time in seeing what pretty much every female member of the audience sees, a dashing and handsome man in uniform who secretly wants to be happy. Cotillard takes this opportunity to remind us of the classic beauty with a French accent who can take a role and become it while making it look easy!
Harris as Heslop understands the complexities of Vatan and gives him certain leeway. Knowing that when the V-section of the military pits the soldier against his family, the end could be disastrous.
Other cast include Daniel Bettes as George Kavanagh, Zavier De Guillebon as Claude, Camille Cottin as Monique, Vincent Latorre as Vincent, Charlotte Hope as Louise, Celeste Dodwell as Scarlet, Sally Messham as Margaret, and Lizzy Caplan as Bridget Vatan.
ALLIED is a film that brings together love, trust, family, war, and the choices that are made in the most difficult of circumstances. The story revolves around Vatan and Marianne but let me tell you that fashion made its way into the film as well. ALLIED has amazing costuming with snappy sharpness, beautiful dresses, and hairstyles that lend to the story.
With all that I have to also say that the films storyline happens so very fast that there is a depth that is missing. The element of what brought these characters together fades quickly and it is replaced by a mystery that doesn’t feel so mysterious. That being said ALLIED is a good film that I did enjoy.
The score also brings 1942 into focus and once again I love the music of that era. Writer Knight has brought several pieces to the screen with EASTERN PROMISES in 2007 and LOCKE in 2013. Director Zemeckis has also brought a stunning resume with FLIGHT in 2012 and CAST AWAY in 2004 which still is one of my favorite films (as seen by the Wilson that sits on my desk!)
In the end – deception is an art and truth is a test!