The East

“I saw a trailer for this back at the indie movie theater a couple years before. I was so excited. This looked like the kinda dark and suspenseful stuff I love, with the added bonus of Brit Marling, Ellen Page, and Alexander Skarsgaard. But then it was in and out of the movies with little fanfare and no opportunity to go see it. I bought it last summer in that video store firesale and found out why it was shuffled along so quickly. It’s kind of a mess.

Marling, who also cowrote the script, leads as an operative in a secretive security agency for very high profile clients. She infiltrates an anarchist group that is believed to be targeting one of her firm’s clients. Her mission is to find out what their plans are in the hopes of protecting her client, but of course she ends up in over her head.

You find out fairly early on that the group is planning three attacks, or “”jams”” as they call them. We’re okay through the first one. But then the plot kinda falls apart, not really sure where it wants to go. Actually, there’s some uncertainty early on. Are they just a bunch of punks? Are they a cult? Just some idealists? We eventually see some of hte leaders’ motivations, but the dynamics of the group are never really clear. Page seems underutilized until she’s thrown into a shaky and ill-defined spotlight. Basically, the whole thing could have been better. It’s disappointing, but not a major loss.”

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