Spy vs spy: Review of Allied by Rashid Irani | movie reviews | Hindustan Times
Today in New Delhi, India
Dec 13, 2017-Wednesday
-°C
New Delhi
  • Humidity
    -
  • Wind
    -

Spy vs spy: Review of Allied by Rashid Irani

A couple of scenes, like the summary execution of Nazi handlers in London, provide the requisite goose bumps.

movie reviews Updated: Jan 06, 2017 15:26 IST
Rashid Irani
You will see the classic film Casablanca mirrored now and again in Allied. But the new-age version is definitively not in the same league.
You will see the classic film Casablanca mirrored now and again in Allied. But the new-age version is definitively not in the same league.

ALLIED

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.

If one is still able to maintain interest in the goings-on, it’s largely because of the film’s gorgeous production and costume design.

The two undercover agents are on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. After assassinating the German ambassador in Casablanca, they reunite in London, get married and have a child.

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.

It doesn’t help that there is little on-screen chemistry between the lead stars.

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.

As for Allied, it merely leaves us yearning for a re-run of the inimitable Casablanca.

Watch the trailer for Allied here