Allied: Pitt & Cotillard Make A Moving Romantic Story – My Thoughts

I’m definitely partial to a nice romantic war film…think Casablanca. But then again…think Pearl Harbour. Thankfully, Allied falls on the significantly positive side of the spectrum…

This film became somewhat controversial after the high profile split of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and watching the film, it’s not difficult to see why rumours of Pitt having an affair with his on-screen partner, french actress Marion Cotillard came about. Their romantic chemistry is certainly the high point of this film.

Allied tells the story of a WW2 intelligence officer (Pitt) and a French Resistance fighter (Cotillard) who are put together on a mission but ultimately end up falling for one another. The romance is definitely the main focus here. The war simply providing the setting for the film.

The story of two people being thrown together, falling in love and having hardship later on is nothing new and while the film in parts does seem rather predictable, it is ultimately enjoyable. It is not a slow paced story; there’s always plenty going on to entertain anyone watching it and there are certain scenes that will impress you visually, certain scenes that will move you and certain scenes that will make you think along with the characters. It’s not a difficult film to like.

It wouldn’t be odd of anyone to have expected a slight bit of ‘Oscar buzz’ to surround this film given its release date, its wartime setting, its actors and its subject matter but having seen it, you’ll realise that won’t be the case. Director Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump, Back to the Future, Cast Away) hasn’t really brought out a truly great film since ‘Cast Away’ back in 2000 with his recent releases, 2015’s ‘The Walk’ and 2012’s ‘Flight’ falling under the same category as this film. Certainly good…just not quite ‘great’.

The standout aspect of this film is the main performances and particularly the chemistry between the two leads. Brad Pitt, known for other WW2 films, ‘Fury’ and ‘Inglorious Basterds’, is such a likeable prescence on screen and he has that capability of really making you feel for his characters even when he’s not necessarily giving his best performance. His showing in Allied is occasionally weaker than usual but he brings the goods when the scene calls most for it.

Academy Award winner (2006 Best Actress – La Vie En Rose), Marion Cotillard is, as some may expect, the best part of this film. Her character had significant depth, emotion and charm and Cotillard entirley delivered in her performance especially towards the rather emotional ending of the film.

It must be stressed though that while it is true that very little of anything new or fresh was brought to this film, it won’t be one that will be disliked. It won’t end up on anyone’s list of ‘top movies of 2016’ but it’s certainly far from a ‘bad’ film.

The scenes in Morocco towards the beginning of the film are perhaps the most entertaining and interesting as Pitt’s Max Vatan and Cotillard’s Marianne Beausejour first get to know each other and carry out the mission they have been tasked to complete there.

There is also a scene between the two of them and Herr Hobar played by August Diehl (Inglorious Basterds) that is perhaps the most intense in the film. Diehl is perfect at playing casual threat and intensity as we saw in Inglorious Basterds’ famous bar scene and the particular scene in this film works as a nice little reference to that.

Stories of love and betayal never fail to be interesting and when you’ve got actors of this calibre in the roles then there’s very little to worry about. Put that with its WW2 setting that can draw people in to a film in its own right and what comes out is a perfectly good movie that while perhaps lacklustre in parts, overall is a success.

Be sure to let me know your thoughts on Allied, use #PurpleDonMovies on Twitter and you can also check me out on Twitter and Instagram!

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