Director Robert Zemeckis, who brought us Forrest Gump and Cast Away, now brings us an exciting and utterly gripping historical thriller, Allied. Set in the midst of World War Two, Intelligence Officer Max Vatan (Brad Pitt) learns that his wife (Marion Cotillard) may secretly be working with the enemy as a German spy. British Intelligence undertake the standard procedure used to unveil hidden spies, leaving Max with just 72 hours to prove his wife’s innocence.
From the very beginning Allied is fast paced and exciting, and manages to maintain this pace steadily throughout. My eyes were glued to the screen from start to finish. Max Vatan is no ordinary Intelligence Officer, he is a Special Operations Executive (SOE), someone who is given a mission so dangerous they are not expected to survive, considered as suicide missions. It is on one of these deadly missions that Max meets and falls in love with his future wife, beautiful French Resistance fighter Marianne Beauséjour.
They both happen to survive, and after marrying, set up home in London and start a family. There is great, natural and easy chemistry between Pitt and Cotillard. Marion Cotillard’s superb acting skills shine through in particular. She pulls off an incredibly convincing performance as the beautiful yet lethal spy, able to manipulate anyone and everyone around her.
What stands out the most is the storyline. Talented Writer Steven Knight wrote this film after being inspired by similar events that occurred in the Second World War. Of course, the story of Allied is a version has had a little Hollywood makeover. However, it’s not just about action and special effects – it’s got a strong, original and engrossing story. When Max first discovers that the British Intelligence strongly believe his wife is a spy, the audience like him, question everything we know about her.
Is she a German spy or isn’t she? There is evidence and a strong argument supporting both sides, with many possible theories. Allied brilliantly keeps you guessing right up until the end. Whichever side you choose to believe it’s simply impossible to predict the outcome. As an audience we can totally sympathise with Pitt’s character and his nail biting race against time to prove his wife’s innocence. If he doesn’t, he’ll have to do the unthinkable and kill her himself. Now you think you’ve got marital problems.
The only criticism I have is that it maybe takes a little too long to reach the point in the plot where Max learns that his wife may potentially be working with the enemy. There is a lot more focus than anticipated on the romantic side of the story where we see Max and Marianne fall in love, although this allows the audience to get to know the characters in more depth and consequently makes it harder to guess who is betraying who.
Allied is a fantastically entertaining historical thriller. It boasts a great storyline and great performances that will leave you on the edge of your seat.
Dir: Robert Zemeckis
Scr: Steven Knight
Starring: Brad Pitt, Marion Cotillard, Jared Harris
Run Time: 119 minutes
Allied is out on DVD and Blu Ray now.