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Allied, The paratrooper turns out to be Max Vatan, a Canadian soldier sent by the British to fulfill a spy mission. Together with a deeply disguised member of the French Resistance, Marianne Beauséjour, they pose as a loving couple, but in fact they are planning an assassination attempt on a high-ranking Nazi officer. Soon they stop pretending to love each other and truly fall in love with each other, but future events test their love. I don’t want to reveal too much so as not to spoil the viewing for those who haven’t seen the revealing trailers. Let me just say that Max will be forced to look for answers to his questions in his beloved’s past, risking his own life and that of others behind enemy lines and in his own home.

Robert Zemeckis tries to revive the charm of the classic romantic thriller in the guise of World War II in the film Allied, but he is only partially successful. Yes, the film has a wonderful setting, glamor oozes out of the frames, and Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard are great in their roles, initially cold professionals, later passionate lovers. But I quickly realized that this tribute to old cinema could not generate the fire that is so desirable for melodrama. The director himself is partly to blame for this, as he is unable to fully tame the aesthetics of old war romances, which today are offensive with artificiality and politeness imposed by the censorship. The creator of Forrest Gump is not afraid to use swear words, he shows violence in a realistic way, but he interrupts the sex scene at the most interesting moment, showing nudity a little later, as if by accident. Casablanca looks like a postcard, London is ugly and gray, but even there Zemeckis manages to brighten the frame with vivid colors or situations, as when the main characters decide to have a picnic near the site of the German plane crash. There is something unnatural and yet familiar about it all.

Steven Knight’s script also feels like it was written over half a century ago, and that shouldn’t necessarily be taken as a criticism if one wants to watch a lost classic from the 1940s or 1950s. But Knight lacks the imagination to revive the ossified patterns. Making the character of Max’s sister a lesbian who openly demonstrates her sexual orientation is the only bolder idea, unfortunately it leads nowhere and remains only an interesting addition.

The lyricist of Unseen, Eastern Promises and Locke feels at home exploring the dark side of contemporary London, showing people in conflict with themselves. Here, Vatan is supposed to be such a character, torn between love and service, truth and lies, unable to idly wait for a solution, taking actions that threaten not only himself. But Pitt’s hero is too formulaic to be intriguing – we know exactly what he will do before he even thinks about it. This isn’t the actor’s fault at all, as he can make us believe in Max’s emotional turmoil even when the text doesn’t give him much opportunity to shine. Cotillard has more room to show off, first as a skillful manipulator, then as a faithful partner. She performs excellently in both roles, although her character’s activity is somewhat limited in the second half of the film.

It’s a shame that Allied doesn’t offer anything beyond what we’ve seen in the past. With grace, commitment and self-confidence, they try to recreate a cinema that has long been lost, but because of this, you feel a certain distance that is impossible to overcome until the very end. Big names behind and in front of the camera guarantee a solid effort, but they can’t deliver on the promise of a great movie. During the sequence of a party at the main characters’ house, when crowds, lively music and loud conversations constitute the background for Max, who is increasingly frayed with nerves, and his investigation. That’s when the director confuses the clues, introduces us to new suspects, gives the poor Canadian hope and almost immediately takes it away, sows the seeds of doubt in us, and ends it in a very impressive way, shooting everything energetically, almost without breathing. It’s a pity the whole movie isn’t as vivid.

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