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Boy meets girl. Boy falls in love with girl and get married. Boy suspects girl is not who she claims to be. What’s next?

alliedIt is 1942. Canadian intelligence officer, Max Vatan (Bratt Pitt), is working with the British in Casablanca. Going undercover as the Parisian husband of Marianne Beausejour (Marion Cotillard), a French resistance fighter, the two are on a mission to assassinate the German ambassador.

Despite knowing the risks of their jobs and the pitfalls of falling in love on the job, Max returns to England at the end of their successful mission and requests permission to bring Marianne to London so that the two could marry.

Two soon becomes three with the dramatic arrival of baby Anna in the middle of an air raid. However, their blissful life is thrown in doubt when the Special Operations Executive tells Max that they suspect Marianne is not who she claims to be, and that she is, in fact, a German spy who stole the identity of the real Marianne after she died in France.

As Max races against the clock to uncover the truth, he faces the frightening possibility that his life and love may have all been built on a lie. Could he carry out the execution as his superiors commands should their suspicions prove to be true or face becoming a traitor against the Allied nations?This is of course not the first time Pitt has played an undercover spy – most notably Mr and Mrs Smith and there are some scenes in Allied that are reminiscent of that. As hard as Pitt tries to make his character work, he fails to pull off the Canadian-French accent and I could not help but cringe every time he attempted to speak in French. (In the film, Marianne initially mistakes him for a French Canadian, nicknaming him Le Québécois although he later corrects her and tells her he is from Ontario.) Poor accent aside, Max’s character would have been more believable as a younger man.

Cotillard is capable of so much more than some of the Hollywood roles she has done of late. However, she succeeds in  giving Marianne a sense of empathy, even if the script does little to give her this. She is a spy, whichever side she is on, and her evolution into wife and mother makes you want the accusations to be untrue, just as much as Max does.

Director Robert Zemeckis, most well known for his family movies such as the Back to the Future series, dips his hands into the spy-war-romance genre with Allied. Unfortunately, the story is hardly original, and neither is the setting, which is a little disappointing, coming from one of my favourite television writers, Steven Knight (Peaky Blinders and most recently, Taboo).

Allied is now showing across Australia.

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