Wednesday, November 30, 2016

This is going to be a first for the OIC blog: a movie review. And the movie is the recently released Allied which I saw. 

I had the misfortune of reading a review which revealed way too much of the story, and I am going to try hard not to do that. It's a WW2 story about two undercover operatives, who are operating in Nazi-occupied Casablanca in French Morocco, who have to pretend to be man and wife. Then, they fall in love for real. It doesn't hurt that I tell you that because it happens very early in the story. But, after that, the story takes a very unexpected turn, and it puts Brad Pitt's character Max in the worst possible dilemma, a nightmare of a dilemma. 

First, I went to see it even though the reviews were mostly bad. They said that Brad Pitt seemed stiff and wooden. That's an exaggeration, but it's true that he's not going to be nominated for an Academy Award for his acting. But, mark my words: his film cohort Marion Cotillard is going to be nominated for Best Actress. She is magnificent. You're going to fall in love with her yourself. And, you quickly get used to Pitt's reserved, subdued affect, and it does not hurt your appreciation of the story. 

Parallels have been made to Casablanca, which is one of my favorite movies. If you recall, Humphrey Bogart's character faced a dilemma, as Brad Pitt's character does here. But, Brat Pitt is no Humphrey Bogart, so on that basis, there is no comparison. However, there is practically no action in Casablanca; it's mostly talking; while there is a lot of action in Allied. And without a doubt, Allied has a much richer and more complex plot. And Marion Cotillard has a much more demanding and complex role than Ingrid Bergman had, and she is every bit as dazzling and beautiful. 

What I keep reading is that Allied tried to reach the brilliance of Casablanca and failed, but I would say that it exceeded Casablanca in some ways. And I'm a Casablanca fan. Listen to me: Allied is a great movie, one of the best to come along in years. 

What the movie is about is the idea that war is about committing abominable acts- acts that would certainly be considered abominable in any other situation except war. But, is there a limit?
Killing JFK, slaughtering him in the car right next to his wife, was an abominable act, and it certainly wasn't Oswald's. And you can be sure that the ones who killed JFK had a war mentality. I'm sure they regarded it as a military strike. War makes monsters out of men. War makes monsters out of men. There are no good wars. But, there are good movies, and Allied is one of them. 

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