Thursday, December 1, 2016

Allied, or the new plot of fools

Allied is a usual formula for the film industry, which tries to sell us Marion Cotillard and Brad Pitt; not the first time and there is nothing wrong with it, formulas are applied for their effectiveness. Previously, it happened with Meryl Streep and Robert Redford, but in those cases they searched for powerful stories and better development; that’s is not that the case of Allied, which only try to selling us the figures of Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard, nothing more. The story is attractive, but does not develop all its dramatic wealth; instead it’s is reduced to recreating the mere sentimental contradiction, in an aura of false romanticism. There is no doubt that the WWII in which the film is framed will have provoked more incredible and twisted situations than this one; however, this —which can be recurrent— lacks all credibility, just because of its plot weakness.

It is not improbable, for example, that a relationship between spies ends in romance with sentimental weight; But it is incredible that an experienced agent falls into his own sentimentality, even to the absurdity of a marriage proposition. It is not strange the twist of maintaining the feelings real, that is elementary; but it is strange that this could confuses a professional spy. There is everything the formula requires, from Pitt's butt and Cotillard's breasts, to sex in the middle of a sandstorm; but the diluent is not good enough, and even the appeal of the camera round for the sex scene becomes trite and banal. Beware, that resource in itself is good, and adds some appeal to the scene; But it is the scene itself that is trite, dragging with it that magnificent resource to its seal of banality.

Likewise, the setting is impressive, and the costumes and photography get a stage set worthy of a better script; even the photograph —in a sepia tone that does not reduce but explode the color— are of a very high technical level, spoiled. The end is an in crescendo outburst, since Pitt forces a mission in enemy territory, looking for the identity of his beloved; until the apotheosis, in which the Cotillard manages to leave with a certain decency, while Pitt releases faces that should shame him forever. The final moment recalls that of Casablanca, when the Chief of Police and Bogart seal the emergence of a great friendship; but here the officer in charge orders his agents to alter the report for the sake of a romanticism sacrificed to the coldness of war.

It is then, and more or less, Pitt and Cotillard in the Casablanca of Vichy government, and if the plot sounds familiar is because it is; but it’s not Bogart and Bacall on a strong argument, which would give one of the lines in the world of scripts. In fact, the formula was exploited —with much better luck— with Robert Redford and a sufficient Lena Olin in Havana (1990); but here it is a probably overrated Cotillard, and a Pitt who does not try very hard, as in Interview with a vampire.

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