The East – Review
“The East” is a sharp, smart and suspenseful thriller from proven writer-director - actress producer Brit Marling, a
graduate who came into prominence in 2011 with her critically acclaimed debut film effort “Another Earth”. Georgetown University
In her third film “The East” Marling is playing a former FBI agent Sarah Moss who has decided to start a new career at a firm named Hiller Brood, an elite private intelligence firm that with aplomb ruthlessness protects the interests of its A-list corporate chemical, pharmaceutical and petroleum clientele.
Sarah, an incredibly motivated, resourceful and ingenious agent, is handpicked early in the film for an assignment by the company’s CEO Sharon (Patricia Clarkson), to eventually infiltrate deep undercover to locate and report on a domestic terrorist cell called “The East”. An elusive anarchist collective, who has proven to be both aggressive and strategic in their ability to exact espionage revenge, specifically against major corporations who have had a suspicious history of corporate criminal activity but yet still evade the law.
Sarah works her way into eventually meeting one of its members hoping to ingratiate herself to the group by trying to overcome their suspicions, with the idea of her joining them on their next terrorist action or as they referred to it a “
”. But the deeper Sarah gets closer and connected to the motives of the group and its leader Benji (Alexander Skarsgård – “True Blood”), the more she begins to question her own morals for what she is doing with her career and her personal life Jam.
“The East” has a lot of interesting components working for it, touching on contemporary issues of eco terrorism, corporate power, environmental impact, moral quandary and matters of individual verses group ethics. The film’s direction is well paced, smart and gripping, and while the plot meanders a moment into scenes with a cultish tone, the overall story is always provocative through out its unflinching two hour running time.
Marling proves she is a burgeoning creative talent that will be consistently pushing the envelope on promising future films beyond the more conventional movie fare. Thus far, she has firmly established an eye for producing imaginative and creative films for all of those who want their entertainment meatier in complexity with a story’s execution always moving intelligently in both horizontally and vertically lines.
3 -1/2 Stars