Friday, November 25, 2016

Movie Review: Allied

Two spies posing as husband and wife, plan to take out a Nazi Ambassador in the French Morocco in WWII. The setting is unique and you will just love the costumes and the culture, which you can't help but notice and appreciate despite the tense situation. 

It is "good old spies" as Max Vatan (Brad Pitt) and Marianne Beausejour (Marion Cotillard) try their best to convince neighbors that they are a blissfully married couple, when in fact they have just met! Just an everyday occurrence in the life of espionage and spies, I guess. 

In a story where spy meets spy, the attraction is intense (those were some pretty intense sex scenes, hence the R16 rating and probably the film just trumped "Titanic" in best car sex scene-yes I said it) and pretty soon Max and Marianne become husband and wife for real and have a child together. 

With WWII is raging, Marianne has resigned from spy work and is a happy house wife while Max still continues his work battling Nazis. It is a relatively happy marriage and family life until Max is presented with evidence that Marianne is a sleeper spy working for the Germans, if proven that she is, it is on protocol for Max to kill her himself  or be face being executed for failing to obey orders. 

Max sets out on a desperate mission to prove her innocence. 

I have to commend on the good old spy work that Max and Marianne did, unlike modern movie spies like James Bond and Ethan Hunt, Max and Marianne did not have the help of a back up team made up of individuals who are expert in their fields. No extraction team to get them out when shit hits the fan. Just the two of them in a den of Nazi soldiers and I have to admire this and its WWII there were real spies on real missions at this time! 

Speaking of real, one of the gems of "Allied" is that it is actually based on a true story

Allied's Oscar-nominated screenwriter Steven Knight (Eastern Promises) heard the story of two undercover WWII spies who fell madly in love only to be set mortally against each other when their true identities were exposed. (Read more here). 

Which makes "Allied" even more sad, to think that two people who love each other are set at opposite sides because of war. It leaves you with a heartache that you will bring with you even days after seeing the movie. 

Oscar winner, Robert Zemeckis the innovative mind behind Forrest Gump, Cast Away and Flight (aaand "Back to the Future" you can read more here) helmed "Allied" and I love his use of symbols throughout the film. The way Max (Brad Pitt) would "spy on"  Marriane through mirrors like they never got "being a spy" of their system and how there was always suspicion. Or when Max and Marianne made love for the first time in the car with a dessert storm just outside them, I think it was a foreshadowing of the "storm" that would test their love. 

Brilliant performance from Marion Cotillard, she is perfect as Marianne! Brad Pitt looks gorgeous! Okay so there was a little controversy before the film came out with the whole "Brangelina" split but putting that aside, you can still appreciate the movie. 

Can I also just add that those aerial dog fight scenes are the most beautiful (yes, I know that's a disturbing statement) that I've seen.  

7 out of 10. They say that all is fair in Love and War but that is not always the case. Sometimes, one wins over the other, good if its love over war but when it's war who wins over love, then that is just another reminder of how humans can be so miserable and should always serve as a reminder for us, for those of us who live in peace, to never let it happen again. 

Allied is now showing in cinemas and is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

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