Monday, 28 November 2016

'Allied' Review

Robert Zemeckis has brought us many great films over the year including Oscar winner 'Forrest Gump' and the timeless 'Back To The Future'. His latest film 'Allied' looks to add to the impressive filmography but would it be a worthy addition to his list of work?

Max Vatan (Brad Pitt) is sent to Casablanca to partner up in an attempt to assassinate a leader in the Nazi regime. There he meets Marianne Beausejour (Marion Cotillard) who will accompany him and help carry out their mission, with both not giving each other much information about themselves. After spending time with each other, the pair decides to move to London where they will be married and eventually have a daughter. Everything seems to be perfect until Max is informed that his wife may be a German spy. Max will now look to take matters into his own hands to find out the truth before the government does and potentially kill her.

'Allied' takes a large chunk of time building up the relationship between Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard's characters Max and Marianne. We see their relationship from the first interaction, with us seeing them putting an act on, and that feeling seems to be the same throughout the film. The story doesn't convey these two characters as being in love, with the two not showing much affection for each other until it then rushes them into becoming lovers. Once that happens, it seems to fast forward to them suddenly being married and then having a child. I'd like to compare this to another recent film 'The Light Between Oceans'. Both films look to take a lot of time to establish the love relationship between its main characters but TLBO does so much better. In 'Allied', the relationship doesn't feel nearly as genuine as it simply isn't handled as well. You could say that this is intentional due to the subject matter, but as the film doesn't create a genuine feeling of love, ultimately the story is predictable.

One of the main stories that came out of this film actually had to do with Pitt's recent divorce with Angelina Jolie which had people thinking he'd been cheating with a co-star yet again, with Marion Cotillard being targeted due to this. With these stories seeming so be completely false, it seems unfair that this is overshadowing Cotillard's brilliant performance. Cotillard is the stand out in this film as she shows great range throughout the film, showcasing multiple dialects along the way. She is undoubtedly one of the best actresses in the world right now and this performance only seems to back it up. Her performance is powerful which in the end makes you want to root for her as the story unfolds. Cotillard seems to do the majority of the acting with co-star Brad Pitt seeming to be one note throughout most of the film. There were opportunities for Pitt to showcase some range, but it jut did not seem to happen. Pitt's character Max seems to let a lot of his actions speak for him, though showcasing that he is very talented at a number of things. Due to this, Pitt does seem inferior to his co-star but his performance is far from a bad one. 

One great plaudit for this film that it is very beautiful. Zemeckis has carefully crafted a stunning looking film with a key eye for detail. From the sets to costume to the actors, everything looks magnificent. The streets if Casablanca, to the fancy headquarters over the world look authentic adding a key sense of realism to the film. Costume designer Joanna Johnston has a field day as she not only creates authentic military uniforms but fantastic clothes for the main characters day to day life. There is a truly classic style which is helped by Cotillard's stunning looks which bring a very glamourous feel to the film. I'd be very surprised if Johnston wasn't on the receiving end of an Academy Award nomination in what is her seventh collaboration with director Robert Zemeckis.

One of the key strengths of the film is how Zemeckis sprinkles details of the story. The film doesn't give everything away all at once and uses tension fairly effectively throughout the film. Although you can probably guess the outcome, there are some good moments throughout the film that may have you doubting your thoughts. There are many twists and turns that Zemeckis uses well in the lead up to the finale. However, the film did seem to rush its ending, with Max travelling to war-torn France and back very quickly to interrogate Marianne. In saying that, I would be lying if I said that the ending didn't pack an emotional punch, in what was one of the films strong points. Zemeckis really nailed the ending on this one, with Cotillard playing a big role in its success.

Final Verdict = 

So have you seen 'Allied'? If so, what did you think of it? I hope that this review was useful for if you were planning on seeing the film and that you enjoy it if you choose to see it. Once again thank you for taking the time to read my review, it is much appreciated!

By Angus McGregor