Desperately needing some emotion that doesn’t feel stale and overused.
Allied is the story of a Canadian man and a French woman who meet in the war under cover to assassinate a German ambassador. They fall in love as part of the mission, get married, and have a child amongst the falling bombs in London. Later, the tables turn and the man (Brad Pitt) starts to suspect the woman (Marion Cotillard).
Robert Zemeckis directs here, and the film is a true throwback to the films of the 1940s. It seems to have been the goal in most of the scenes, where a slow tensioned burn is present. Whether it is the different tricks of identity that are present throughout (as everyone seems to be playing someone new in each scene), or the presence of barrage of bullets to kill some Nazis, the film allows nothing to build to a huge amount of tension until a particular scene featuring a piano.
Cotillard is given the majority of the story to work with here, and it’s on her performance alone that the movie succeeds at all. The incredibly nuanced performance allows her to fall into masquerade after masquerade, and she completely lets the performance infect the story. It’s very, very good. I wish I could say the same for Pitt, but instead, he seems to just be flat the entire story. Shooting Nazis? Expressionless face. Having sex surrounded by a sandstorm? No need for expression here. Find out some frankly alarming things about your wife? What face should I make?
The true winner is the suspense and the backgrounds. Though sometimes a little too reliant on the CGI factor (wasn’t a big fan of the bomb baby), the sweeping vistas of Morocco are really, really good. In fact, just about all the camerawork in this film is excellent. What makes it so good is the cameras willingness to stick with what is occurring in the tight action scenes, as well as lingering on the faces of the actors, even if one is an expressionless Brad Pitt.
I think that overall the biggest issue with the film is the lack of emotion from Pitt that spills over into the film’s primary relationship. It makes the love, which should (by their actions) be on fire, seem dull, and the eventual emotional payoff in the film seem lackluster, like a CGI’d sandstorm. That means that this film is only slightly above average, and I’m giving it a “B-“.
For more on this movie check out IMDB.
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy"