Allied: A drama so blowdried that it feels fake
Film: ‘Allied’; Director: Robert Zemeckis; Starring: Brad Pitt, Marion Cotillard; Rating:**
It’s hard to believe this story of a Canadian intelligence officer who falls in love with a German spy who he thinks is a Resistance fighter.
Even if we accept that love is indeed blind, what level of ‘Intelligence’ does Max(Brad Pitt) demonstrate in his choice of life partner?
There is no dearth of atmospheric pleasure in Allied. We can almost feel the heat passion anxiety and seductive intrigue of 1942 when alliances fidelity and loyalty were constantly questioned. Given the aura of distrust this could have been, the ultimate seduction movie about a hard-nosed soldier who succumbs to the charms of a very alluring German spy, played with languorous lucidity by Marion Cotillard who’s a neo-Streep without Meryl’s layered luminosity.
While we are on performing ability, Brad Pitt is much more compelling in that other marital drama as a writer desperately trying to save his marriage By The Sea where he was directed by his then-wife Angelia Jolie. Their marriage was soon over , apparently because of Pitt’s attachment to Ms Cotillard during the shooting of this film where their chemistry is just not visible.
But that’s okay. Real-life couples seldom ignite a flame when asked to be passionate on sceeen.Allied requires Pitt and Cotillard to be agitated and tense as the flames of war leap up and ultimately destroy their love. All of this must have appeared deeply cinematic on paper. But is rendered with such stern-faced severity in the film that we are hardly given a chance to feel the frantic love that the couple proclaims for each other.
During the first quarter of the narrative Pitt and Cotillard are required to act as a married couple. Repeated sequences of the two actors “acting” married on a rooftop terrace begins to wear our patience. By the time they stop acting married and actually settle down to marriage they look more like a couple posing for a collector’s issue of Good Housekeeping than a couple who must stop acting married and get down to the actual business of being Man and Wife.
In one sequence Ms Cotillard seductively unbuttons her blouse at the breakfast table, while Mr Pitt looks more interested in the breakfast.This is a blowdried sanitized version of Casablanca with the war sequences ringing distinctly false like a museum demonstration of a historical contingency .
This is not a film. It is a show put up for fans of World War 2 romances. A Casablanca for the hopelessly romantic . Early on there is a torrid lovemaking scene in the desert where Pitt and Cotillard make out in a car while a sandstorm lashes against the window panes. This is studio-designed passion at its most accomplished.
By the time Allied reaches its tragic premeditated finale we are much too removed from the goings-on to feel any genuine grief .Passing forth of love is fine. What about passing forth of tenable emotions?