I mainly joke with the title of this post; I don’t usually mind the odd departure from true historical accuracy as long as it’s telling a good story. I like the film Titanic for this reason, and I dislike Pearl Harbour for this reason. For the most part I think Allied does in fact tell a good story. It’s not as focused on the action of the Second World War -though it does come into it – as it does the personal stories that may have occurred during these events; those who struggle to have a family during a time in which- as one of the slogans goes – “careless talk costs lives”
Saying that, there does seem to be two distinctive tones within the film. I’ve criticised other films, like Batman V Superman and Fantastic Beasts, lately for having conflicting tones where one simple theme would have been just fine. The opening 30 minutes of Allied plays out a lot like other romantic spy dramas from previous decades. Taking place in French Morocco (which at this time was under the Vichy Administration) it follows two agents, played by Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard sent to assassinate a high ranking Nazi official. (at one of the most boring parties I’ve ever seen for the record) Their preparation for the mission, how they interact with each other and other people around the area is fun to watch, especially hearing Mr Pitt do a passable french accent. It was certainly a lot longer than I expected this part of the film to be, and a part which I greatly enjoyed.
Of course, if you’ve watched the trailers for this film, you’ll note that this is a thriller film, so naturally the film’s tone changes after the mission in Morocco is complete and the second act goes to London, where the two agents get married and have a daughter. Interesting life choice to make during wartime but hey, not a judgmental person. When told that his wife may not be all that she appears to be, the cracks start to show as interactions between the two of them become more difficult. It never really becomes violent; it’s more of a subtle change in relation and one that I feel is quite well done. To go from romantic spy drama to thriller is a transition that seems to work pretty well for Allied.
If I have problems with the film (which I do) it’s that the film never really goes as far as I’d have hoped it would have done. While the last act of the film is tense, it just doesn’t feel particularly satisfying when you look at other films like this. This isn’t to say that it’s bad; I can tell you that it’s still done quite well, with excellent acting and high tension. I just wish that more happened. Not a violent outcome – that would have made me dislike the two main leads more – but something less anti-climactic. I don’t know what exactly, I’m not a writer.
However, in spite of this criticism, I did enjoy watching Allied, and would happily recommend it to those who are interested in these sorts of films. It’s a simple film, but there’s strength in that simplicity.
On a final note: Allied parties were more fun than Nazi parties.