The 1940’s saw a plethora of war-time espionage movies enthralling audiences. Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Foreign Correspondent’ and ‘Lifeboat’ being two examples. Drawing on human conditions of trust and innuendo, those films played on viewer’s fears of ‘war spies on every corner’. Whilst not as well-crafted as Hitchcock’s films, ‘Allied’ carves its own niche. Using a romantic angle to present a tale, the spectre of suspicion casts doubt on a couple’s strong bond.
While working for Canadian Intelligence in North Africa in 1942, officer Max (Brad Pitt) meets French resistance fighter Marianne (Marion Cotillard). Falling in love, getting married and having a child, their union seems strong. Their idyll is shattered when agents suggest to Max his wife may be a double agent. Ordered to kill his bride or face the firing squad, Max is put into an awkward situation. Convinced she is being framed, Max goes to extreme lengths to protect his wife.
‘Allied’ is an old-fashioned Hollywood film. That isn’t a bad thing considering how quickly paced films are these days. ‘Allied’ takes time to develop Max and Marianne’s romance and allows the story to fully ‘breathe’. Whilst moments are slow, overall ‘Allied’ asks viewers to fully invest in its characters and story. This is done well due to Robert Zemeckis’ strong direction which never once falters in its quest to craft a glamorous romantic thriller.
Zemeckis clearly strives for a 1940’s feel in atmosphere and visuals. The cinematography and music score are suitably lush and vibrant with both successfully conjuring World War 2’s constant danger and mystery. Pitt and Cotillard project the right amount of chemistry to make for a believable couple. You are never sure where the story will go but can easily follow the journey via their stoic performances.
‘Allied’ should appeal to those tired of endless fast and furiously moving films. It’s a rarely made classic old-style movie providing an oasis in a sea of commercial block-busters. It isn’t always perfect but is a solid small-time epic sure to please lovers of classic-like cinema.
Movie Review Rating out of 10: 7
Movie Review by Patrick Moore
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