Rated: R for violence, some sexuality/nudity, language and brief drug use. Reviewed by: Chris Release date: November 25, 2016 Released by: Paramount Pictures Corporation
Director Robert Zemecki"s new spy film is both thrilling and romantic. It doesn't hurt that its stars ooze chemistry. Brad Pitt is Max Vatan, a Canadian Air Force pilot and co-star Marion Cotillard is Marianne Beausejour, a French Resistance agent.
Set in Casablanca, Morocco in 1942, they are paired up to assassinate a German officer during a party where he's the guest of honor. Vatan doesn't know much about his accomplice except that he'll meet her in a restaurant and that she'll be wearing a purple dress. Their cover is that they are a loving married couple, and it doesn't hurt that they are both attractive, experienced people.
Marianne had lived in the area and cultivated friendships, so when Vatan walks into the crowded restaurant for the first time, they are ready to accept him as Marianne's husband who travels a lot for business. The couple have to act their part with perfection, and continue the charade until the officer is killed.
It's been a while since a film's costumes so define an era for me. The slinky nightwear and silk gowns and his crisp shirts and cream colored linen suits play a large role in setting the mood.
I'm not giving away the plot as it is spelled out in the trailer, but the glamorous couple fall in love, get married and have a baby - all with a war going on, no less. They're very happy, until Max is notified that his wife might not be whom she says she is.
Max can't believe that his wife is a spy, so his commanding officer tells him that they'll feed her some false information and if they discover that its been passed onto the enemy, then Max will have to kill her. If he doesn't, he'll be considered a co-conspirator and they'll both be executed.
The love story is played out with a backdrop of air raids and intrigue. A fiery airplane crash, very close to their home, is especially well done. The script holds a couple of surprises along with some predictable plot twists, but the film is made more enjoyable because of the really strong lead performances.