Robert Zemeckis directs Allied, a WWII spy drama based around a Canadian intelligence officer who comes across a French woman living in Nazi occupied North Africa and the two become intertwined, planning to undermine certain operations, the film stars Brad Pitt, Marion Cotillard, Jared Harris, Vincent Latorre.
The central conceit of Allied is an interesting one, centred around espionage during the second world war and even around the idea double crossing which definitely did occur, with axis aligned agents pretending to be allied agents and vice versa, the premise itself is probably what got you to watch the film and it works for the most part. Pitt and Cotillard make a fairly good on screen couple as it turns out and they have a fun rapport on screen, driven mostly by Cotillard in a spirited performance as French agent Marianne Beausejour, the chemistry between the two is there but I found Brad Pitt seemed a bit bored in quite a few scenes and lacked emotional expression which made for a bit of an odd viewing/pairing.
That being said he isn’t necessarily bad in the film but pretty average, which is a shame for an actor of his calibre. Cotillard does make up for Pitts apparent lack of enthusiasm though and the interactions between the two are fairly enjoyable to watch, though seeing them in action more would have been a bit more fun.
I feel like Allied is a tale of two halves of a film, the first half mostly in North Africa with Max and Marianne on duty being intriguing, interesting and exciting as they go about their duties but the second half definitely loses some of that intrigue and excitement, which is understandable as the plot literally goes to a different location and context to be fair, though this is still all during WWII. There’s a bit of an odd feeling to the film as a whole, as it tries to juggle a few things at once it’s a espionage drama without that much actual espionage and also a story about romance but the two don’t exactly mesh together as seamlessly as you would hope and the result of which is oddly toned with an imbalance of romance and drama. And this imbalance makes for weird transitions between time in which the characters do different things and it’s a bit jarring towards the middle when the action slows down a fair bit, which may feel like things get a bit boring for a lot of viewers.
The romantic side to things is present but a bit rushed along, especially in the 2nd half of the film, probably for the sake of the plot and the premise around Marianne being accused of being an Nazi spy but that aspect of the story, while being the lynch pin for a big portion of the plot, is barely explored and merely touched upon, concluding a pretty disappointing fashion.
. Odd tonal balance to film, neither a great drama or romance
. Aspects of Max and Mariannes’ romance feel rushed and not that convincing
. Cotillard gives a good performance, Pitt not so much