Stars: Brad Pitt, Marion Cotillard, Jared Harris, Lizzy Caplan, Simon McBurney, Matthew Goode.
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Screenplay: Steven Knight
This doesn't work. Not because the tone and cinematography change half way through the movie, not because of Pitt and Cotillard's chemistry, and not because of the story. It is because these elements are not at all used to create something resembling a good film.
If was not impressed by the films opening shot but I was willing to go along with the tone of the film. It is harking directly back to one of the greatest films in history, Casablanca even if it is not done very elegantly. Zemeckis does his best to utilise the broad landscape of French Morocco and the contrast of the strong yellow sun with bold shadows of the Noir era but it doesn't come together to emulate classic Hollywood filmmaking. Sloppy.
In the first section we are to believe that these two meet in the heat of battle and fall in love. Again there is a tone to the film that allows me to go, okay, sure now they are in love but then the tonal change happens once we are placed into wartime London and the dreamlike feeling of Morocco disappears for the reality of war. Again this is totally okay and this type of tonal changed has been used so effectively, for instances like the film The Edge of Love that is set in the same time period. But it doesn't click, and there is no pull for us as an audience to really care about this relationship when the whole rest of the plot rests on their love to carry the film to its closure.
I am disappointed with Zemeckis and director of photographer Don Burgess. These men were behind Forrest Gump, and independently, Back to the Future, and Cast Away. These are all stunning films and deserve their place in cinematic history so it is such as shame that they teamed up and made this.