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Movie Night – ‘Allied’ appeals to many in multiple genres

By Bradley Griffith

It doesn’t matter if you are a fan of Brad Pitt, “Allied” is a movie that should be seen by fans of many genres. It doesn’t appeal to fans of only one type of movie, but is broad enough to combine several genres into one compelling tale.

The year is 1942 and World War II is raging across the globe.  A Canadian intelligence operative (spy) working with the British government named Max Vatan (Brad Pitt) parachutes into the desert in North Africa.  He makes his way to Casablanca, changes into a suit and tie delivered to him by a local contact, and goes in search of a woman he has never met, his wife.  At least, for the purpose of his mission, Marianne Beausejour (Marion Cotillard), will play the role of his wife.

Marianne is a French intelligence operative.  She’s been in Casablanca for months building their cover as a husband and wife from Paris.  Marianne has managed to secure a job at the German consulate.  Their mission is to assassinate the German ambassador to Morocco at a party held in his honor.  They spend ten days in Casablanca planning and preparing, and falling in love.

When the job is finished and they both make it out alive Max asks Marianne to come back to England with him and become his wife.  After undergoing a thorough background check by British intelligence, Marianne arrives in London.  The couple get married and have a baby.  Max continues with his work in British intelligence while German planes continually bombard London on seemingly every night.  A year later Max, Marianne, and their baby are settled into their home in London as a family.  They are as happy as anyone can be during the war, until Max receives a call one weekend from his superior officer.

Max is summoned to his office where he is informed that British intelligence believe that Marianne is a German spy.  They believe her to be a double agent who is sending information she gleans from Max about his intelligence work to other German spies.  Max is told that they will have confirmation of whether she is a spy in seventy-two hours.  Max takes that proclamation as a mission to prove that the love of his life in not a double agent in only seventy-two hours.

“Allied” crosses so many genres that it’s impossible to pigeonhole it into only one.  It’s part war story, love story, spy story, and mystery combined into one interesting and tension packed movie.  Max will stop at nothing to prove that Marianne is not a spy.  How could she be when together they assassinated a German ambassador?

While the movie does begin somewhat slowly with Max and Marianne getting to know each other in Casablanca while pretending that they are already husband and wife, the pace picks up considerably during the assassination of the German ambassador.  From that point forward the drama builds until the end.  Still, it’s important to know that “Allied” is not an action movie.  There are a few of scenes of action, but don’t expect a lot of gun fights or battles because it is set during the war.

There’s something about World War II that lends itself to great stories.  Maybe it’s because of the sacrifices an entire generation across the world had to make to rid the world of such evil, or maybe it’s because of the many heroic actions of soldiers and civilians alike during the war.  Whatever the reason, “Allied” capitalizes on the tension of World War II London and the suspicions of everyone that gripped the city.  The seventy-two hours that Max uses to prove Marianne is innocent is steeped in suspense and mystery that doesn’t let up until the story’s climax.

While the acting in the movie is good, it’s not a movie that lives or dies on the acting performances.  Pitt and Cotillard perform well.  But “Allied” is all about the story.  A tale of intrigue during the war to end all wars.  Thankfully for the viewer, this story is excellent.

Grade: A-

Rated R for violence, some sexuality/nudity, language, and brief drug use.