Entertaining wartime spy romantic thriller

Marie and Brad

Allied focuses on the relationship between two secret agents during World War II who fall in love during a joint mission to kill a German official.

The film is based loosely on what scriptwriter Stephen Knight claims to be true.

Canadian pilot and Allied Forces intelligence officer Max Vatan (Brad Pitt) parachutes into French Morocco on a mission to assassinate the German ambassador. He is joined by Marianne Beausejour (Marion Cotillard), a French resistance fighter.

They had never met before, and to deceive those around them, they pose as Nazi sympathisers who act as if they are married to each other. After the assassination, which is successful, Max asks Marianne to come to London to be his wife. There, they marry and have a child.

Back in England, sometime later, Max is called in and informed by his officious Intelligence Chief (Simon McBurney) that Marianne is suspected of being a German spy, and that she has assumed the identity of a dead woman called Marianne Beausejour. A trap is set by the Special Operations Branch in the UK to find out whether Max's wife is sending information to the Germans. Max is informed that if that is found to be the case, and that the information is sent, he must kill his wife. He is also told if he fails to kill her, he will be executed for treason as her accomplice.

The movie is a romantic period drama with excellent photography and beautiful costume design. It pays homage in nostalgic fashion to the spy thriller genre of old, and it weaves together drama, romance and politics with the help of two very bankable stars - Cotillard and Pitt.

Action is infused with romance right throughout the movie - from a murderous assassination, to a sexual coupling between the two in a desert sandstorm, to a gun blast that provides final resolution to the plot-line. The movie entertains, but it does not enthral.

This is an enjoyable film that looks good, and entertains by doing expected and unexpected things in a polished way.

- Reviewed by Peter Sheehan, ACOFB

Allied Starring: Marion Cotillard, Brad Pitt, Thierry Fremont and Simon McBurney. Directed by Robert Zemeckis. Rated M (Mature themes, violence, sex, coarse language, nudity, and drug use). 124 min.

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