Robert Zemeckis returns, this time with a war thriller, an intriguing weave of Steven Knight‘s brain. Allied Movie thrives on constant suspense to come up with a tale that swivels around a sheer veil. It is a slow build up for its core suspense. But the build up is beautiful, gradually sewed in with ingenuous love that appears very convincing owing to the extraordinary acting prowess of Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard.
The movie falters a bit with its drama quotient, owing to a decisive plot. Also, there isn’t much eventually left to chew on. However, owing to the mammoth parable that hides underneath its pages, minor issues with the flick are worth overlooking.
Theme and Plot of Allied Movie (Spoilers)
Marion hits the home run with her every look, every stare. Her love smitten eyes are hard not to fall for. And Brad sings like a canary to her tunes. That’s why it becomes instantly heartbreaking when the actor Simon McBurney who portrays a Special Operations Executive barges in the lovely story putting a tinge of doubt to it, thus bringing cloud of chaos.
Allied Movie begins with a mission in 1942 where a Canadian Air Force Intelligence Officer Max Vatan (Brad Pitt) is supposed to team up with a French Resistance fighter Marianne Beausejour in Casablanca. Together they are supposed to assassinate a German ambassador. In their short stint of posing as husband and wife for cover, they end up falling in love for real.
“We are married, why would we laugh?”
Before the events of assassination take place Max proposes Marianne to marry her and come to live with him in London. They survive events of Casablanca after which Marianne is summoned to London. They settle down in Hampstead where Marianne gives birth to a beautiful baby girl (Anna).
The Major Twist
A good promising year passes them by. One day an unexpected call shakes the very foundation of Max. He learns from an S.O. E. head that his wife is suspected to be a spy. As a reassurance, as part of a ‘blue dye’ op, he is asked to follow a bluff, send a fake message. If their German interceptors pick it, it would confirm them that she is indeed a spy.
“There’s a thing called the soul. I’ve looked into her soul.”
He was ordered to kill her with his own hands if that were so. If not complied he would be hanged for treason. Mentally scathed by bold allegations, Max decides to run his own errands to confirm Marianne’s true identity. He risks his own life to eventually find out the bitter truth the hard way.
The Clouded Truth
She was indeed a spy however when brought under his emotional scanner admits to have been forced into doing the job.
You cannot empathize with Max’s state of mind enough when you realize the truth. His first urge to hit her the moment she admits it reeks of human chagrin and helplessness.
“Was the love real?”
You can’t help but wonder what of a relationship that starts when it starts with a brazen lie? Is it not destined to fail? Is it not supposed to swallow itself in the muck of its own unscrupulous ingress? Even though the backdrop we have here is that of a world at war, and being a spy to a nation, selling secrets is punishable by life. It was crashing, crashing all the way. Doom written on it!
To contrast the apparent downhill ride of a love story that was built on a blunt lie, Marianne is still shown in a good light. She ends up taking her life to save Max from coming under the cross-hair of a traitor.
The movie ends with a letter she had written for her daughter predicting her imminent downfall. We hear her accept her husband’s name, in the end, calling herself “Marianne Vatan”, that’s when the curtain closes.
Moments to Reflect
Allied movie ends with a poignant veracity. Marianne stood by Max even though she was in the wrong. In all that murky quilts of suspense, she was still doing the right thing. And you missed all of that because the director had you convinced. Convinced with his lore that was supposed to put her in the wrong light. Then eventually he comes back to it where we see all that was right there. The way she looked at him, and the way he looked back. Love poised for hours between. The point where she goes to her room as if going to read Max’s feigned message, but that was in fact intended to write that final letter anticipating the end, coming out clean.
That moment in the end where she waits, and waits for Max to come out of a pub where he goes to slay her handler, will bring vibes of uncertainty home once again. It is the beauty of the movie that it forever keeps you guessing. Even though you see the end coming, you still suspect her of her unsought actions, of what she might do, or what was she really thinking, on which side of the court she really stood?
It is only after that trigger goes that you begin to see the good in her. Alas! It’s too late then, and the damage is already done. The dead is proclaimed. The train has already left!
Other Amazing Bits
You can’t also overlook the fact to what lengths Max goes to establish the truth. It is after all his life and his everything that stands at stake. A constant gurgle of pain that forces him to take matters in his own hand. His desperation oozes out his eyes, and he can’t settle down until he finds the truth for himself, not for the government, but for himself first. Very powerful!
You also can’t help but wonder the truth should have actually come from her, instead of him finding out about it from someone else. At least that’s the cardinal basis of any relationship. So it was slowly crawling towards an end nevertheless. A debatable topic indeed.
Anoher one of the beauties the movie aces is the depiction of a child delivery amidst chaos. That frame instantly puts you in the right poetic zone – a psychotic world unperturbed by things that are happening on earth, delivering justice with decimating bombs, whilst another one croons for mercy, silently playing sitting ducks following nature’s intended way. The juxtaposition of killing and bringing forth a life is highly commendable.
You can order Allied Movie here:
The Final Verdict
Mental games that Allied plays will have your heart in your mouth. It makes you wonder about betrayals in your life, or if not then lets you at least empathize with it. You live the turmoil alongside its protagonist, and question the decisions he took with blinding eyes.
You can’t help but feel sorry for the mental conundrum Brad goes through. His eyes wondering out loud if she is a spy or if she isn’t. At the same time you can’t overlook Marion’s enchanting performance either, the trickster who dreamed for a life.
You can check out the trailer of Allied movie here: