Allied (aka Five Seconds of Silence) review by Adrijan Arsovski - Cinema Paradiso
Allied is a well-choreographed thriller that happens to take place in a WWII setting (Brad’s favorite in recent years) and tells the story of a man and a woman playing a game of cat and mouse with more at stake than just their personal lives. Yet, Allied feels like a deeply personal film, filled with characters that do ordinary things and live ordinary lives amidst a world that’s just about to change as we know it. And thus it the tragedy of these people embroiled in a conflict of grandiose scale, a sort of powerlessness that makes the whole ordeal feel uneasy and tense until the credits roll. Yes, Allied is a good film.
Allied is directed by Robert Zemeckis, penned by Steven Knight, and stars Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard in roles that many joke are the continuation of Mr. And Mss. Smith in the 1940s. Lame jokes aside though, Allied features quite a decent cast that works great for this particular installment, with a rare chemistry between the actors the film industry seemed to have forgotten nowadays. Not true for Allied though: Brad as Max Vatan and Marion playing Marianne Beauséjour are the perfect Hollywood fit which allows for an interesting story to be told while they eagerly linger and mingle on the big screen.
The film features top-notch special effects and CGI, but it’s the script that really shines. Allied puts forth some clearly defined literary (translated visually) themes such as putting ideals over oneself and your loved ones, or defying the truth in light of an emotional connection towards a person, or even putting your life on the line for the things that really MATTER to you at that time. But above all: trusting yourself to make the right decision and cause harm to several in order to save thousands, even millions. Tough shoes to fill indeed.
Additionally, Allied teeters on the verge of a modernized Greek tragedy, depicting how hard it is for two spies to fall in love with each other (and for that love to last). The grand irony here is the fact that the same things that drew these two together can possibly become their final undoing as well. Their (Brad and Marion’s character’s) ability to lie to each other is only amplified by their professional training to never believe words that are spoken by another human being period.
Bottom line, Allied is a sum of its parts, and its parts feature a tad bit of everything, including top-class espionage, war, assassinations, conspiracies, double-crossings, narrative twists, and some breadcrumbs of melodrama thrown in there for good measure too. Robert Zemeckis has managed to cram all of these things together without the film feeling too, well, cramped. Four out of five for this one.