|Theatrical poster for Allied.|
Years later, after Max and Marianne marry and have a daughter, he is summoned by Section V of the Secret Intelligence Service and told that Marianne Beausejour was dead and replaced by a woman looking very much alike, and that their target in Morocco was actually a Hitler dissident. Max is ordered to run a "blue dye" on her: leave a fake important message to see if she reports it to Germany. If she does, he'll have to kill her or they'll be both executed for treason.
The story is also very reminiscent to the very las pages of Ian Fleming's Casino Royale, where Bond discovers his very much beloved Vesper was a double agent after she commits suicide not bearing with the guilt and the posibility they could both be hunted down. In comparison, Allied extends that premise by having Max presented with the facts and having to act, standing on a crossroad between the flag and the woman he loves.
|Marianne (Marion Cotillard) and Max (Brad Pitt) in a scene set in Casablanca in the fiction. |
The detail of the production design by Gary Freeman and the costumes by Joanna Johnston is outstanding.
"C'est moi. This is the real me," she tells Max as she hugs him in tears, while she's giving birth to their daughter Anna in the middle of an air-raided London.
Robert Zemeckis brings back the glory of his Forrest Gump days with this movie: the soundtrack -also by Alan Silvestri- has the same emotional charge as the one of the highly acclaimed 1994 film. A good mixture between the soft wind instruments underlining the ill-fated romance between Max and Marianne and the intense and fast percussion cues of the war scenes. The setting of the movie in the 1940s was also very detailed: Marion Cotillard's costumes designed by Joanna Johnston resembled the times with very chic designs, so was Brad Pitt's black tuxedo and cream three-piece suits, very suitable for the hot climate of Morocco.
"The movie is a romance at its core, so the production design was always done with an eye towards being romantic", commented Zemeckis. "When we start the film in Casablanca we wanted it to evoke the Casablanca that we know from the movie Casablanca".
|The happy days of Max and Marianne.|
Production designer Gary Freeman took attention to every detail to turn the Moroccan city into a North African version of the French Riviera as it was during the days where Morocco belonged to France. It is with the great team work made by Freeman, Silvestri and Johnston that we fall in love with an exotic and romantic story right from the very beginning: the people in charge of the set design, the soundtrack and the costume design succeed in making the film beliavable, sexy and intense.
As the story moves to London, the costumes and sets change to provide a darker related to the days of Wartime. The Special Operations Executive office were based on Winston Churchill's claustrophobic offices inside a bunker and the cottage where Max and Marianne live has small rooms as it was fashionable back then. Gary Freeman often used the same location or building to prepare three different sets, and the changes went unnoticed.
The same happened with Marianne's clothing, which are much opaque incomparison to her colorful costumes from the Moroccan scenes. And the cinematographic palette offers an abrupt change between the gold and red hues of the desert and nightclubs to the desaturated colours of the Wartime London, showcasing Max's inner feelings as he is facing the posibility that his wife may be betraying him and his country.
Allied is a masterpiece, a movie that seduces and makes you cry. It can be defined as a war film, a drama or a romance, with the balance inclined much more towards the latter. A story on how could true love prevail over war. On how true love could prevail over masquerades, betrayals, deceit and even death.