America is in a state of turmoil, after years of living with corruption and under a veil of conspiracy cluster groups of activists are rising up to fight back. Former FBI agent Sarah (Brit Marling) is recruited by a large insurance company to go undercover and expose, or sabotage a group known as The East’s activity. As the lines between what is right and wrong become blurred Sarah finds herself well out of her depth.
The East is a strange addition on the current film market, and I’m still undecided quite how I feel about it. The cast seem a little too young to be carrying on the sort of things they are doing, it’s almost like if Dawson’s Creek did terrorism, that sort of age group, battling these big issues. The other half is very capable, well acted, well scripted, and at times really quite exciting. It’s just those nagging thoughts about the age of the cast that makes the movie just that little bit too much to swallow.
The ever-youthful Ellen Page sits in a decidedly anti-social role in the movie, a kind of role she seems to embrace in many of the movies she stars in (Most notably Juno and X-Men). Somehow she seems a little bit too much on the dark side here, which is met in a similar dark fashion as her journey unfolds. While she pays anti-social so well, something rather like the story does not seem right.
The group that are intercepted are almost a cult, they work on trust, have strange washing habits, and even weirder eating past times. And weirdly this is the only point of the movie that really rings true for me. The whole relationship within this “sect” seems entirely plausible, a group of twentysomethings rebelling from society, thinking they are al deeper and far more intelligent than they actually are.
The East does work, but I doubt very much if it will set your world on fire. It has positives and negatives, it’s a good way to spend 100 minutes, but chances are you’ll never want to see it again.
The East is in UK cinemas from the 28th June.