Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The East

Last night I saw The East, starring Brit Marling and Alexander Skarsgard.

Sarah (Marling) is an undercover operative, working to learn the identities of a dangerous anarchist cell targeting large corporations. Benji (Skarsgard) is the magnetic leader of the group. They have all of the necessary talents for such a production (a doctor, a hacker, a beautiful girl, etc,) and live off the grid as they plot their next assault. They call themselves The East.

Moving in with the group, Sarah quickly adapts to their hippie existence and learns about the reasons behind their violent crimes. Though she doesn't condone their methods, she starts to see the group members as human beings and begins to develop true friendships with them.

All the while, she's doing her job and reporting back to home base every time the bunch plans a "jam" (their word for "attack").

The tension builds well here. Sarah's flirtations with Benji could get her closer to him (and possibly change the course of the plans) or they could backfire and blow her cover. The audience is in the dark.

Skarsgard and Marling command the camera with their natural ease and Ellen Page is all too convincing as the annoying righteous member of the tribe that can't see both sides of the issues.

I enjoyed the pace and intent of the film, if not the somewhat predictable ending and formulaic story arcs.


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