Direction: Robert Zemeckis
Actors: Brad Pitt, Marion Cotillard
Rating: 2 / 5
The first half of this romantic espionage thriller is set in 1942, in the Nazi-occupied French Moroccan city of Casablanca, and it culminates in a teary farewell at an airfield. In one crucial scene, a character is provoked to play her country’s national anthem, La Marseillaise. But it needs to be stressed that, despite several such similarities, Allied is definitively not in the same league as the Humphrey Bogart-Ingrid Bergman classic.
Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard provide star wattage, but even they cannot inject enough energy into the lethargically paced script by the normally bankable Steven Knight (Eastern Promises, Locke).
Pitt plays a Canadian intelligence officer who poses as the husband of a French resistance fighter (Cotillard) he’s never met.
By one of those convenient plot contrivances, it is suspected that the mademoiselle might be a double agent.
The narrative proceeds along predictable lines, with the husband attempting to come to grips with the unravelling situation.
A couple of scenes, like the summary execution of Nazi handlers in London, provide the requisite goose bumps. On the whole, though, the direction by Academy Award-winner Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump) is stodgy.
If one is still able to maintain interest in the goings-on, it’s largely attributable to the film’s gorgeous production and costume design.
It doesn’t help that there is little on-screen chemistry between the lead stars. On the evidence of some of her banal performances in American films, including the recently released Assassin’s Creed, Ms Cotillard should perhaps consider returning to French cinema.
Watch the trailer for Allied here