The East (2013)

I watched this some time in between the Valentine’s Marathon.  I always need a mini break between all the lovey-dovey and also to not torture my boyfriend and make him sit those movies.  I’m nice that way. The general goal to watch the movies that I’ve bought but haven’t seen during this year is pretty much still there.  Plus, this is pretty much the second last 2013 movie that I bought and I want to really wrap that up by the end of February as well 🙂 This one has had some rather positive reviews so I looked forward to it!

the east posterDirector: Zal Batmanglij

Cast:Brit Marling, Alexander Skarsgard, Ellen Page, Toby Kebbell, Shiloh Fernandez, Jason Ritter, Patricia Clarkson

An operative for an elite private intelligence firm finds her priorities changing dramatically after she is tasked with infiltrating an anarchist group known for executing covert attacks upon major corporations. –IMDB

IMDB has a good mini synopsis of this one so I’ll just take that.  I’m not even going to attempt to put the movie into my own words because I’ll either spoil it or it’ll make no sense.  Why do I say that? Its not because I’m being lazy.  One thing before we proceed with the actual review is that this is  thriller focused on politics.  I’m not into politics much.  Its not that I don’t understand, I just try to not care as much (except maybe during elections).  Point is, I’m not knowledgeable in this genre.  There could be better and there could be worse than The East but I have very limited comparison. Sounds reasonable? Moving along!

the east brit marling

The East was pretty great. It had some building tension and takes on lots of moral dilemmas as it messed with our main character, Sarah’s, mind.  Although, the only thing was that I figured out part of the ending before we reached it.  Its a well-written story and it targets some big problems where I think in the back of my mind (and probably many others), it brings forth the idea of people standing up for whats right, although in extreme ways, and not being manipulated by big bad wolves – giant heartless corporations that only care for profits.  The whole tone of the movie was pretty strange in a good way and intense.  It provoked a lot of strong feelings as this group, The East, lives in a fairly different and extreme way.  This was pretty  heavy one to watch and I remember having to split it into two nights.  It wasn’t because it was long but just very thought provoking.  Not really fit for a late night movie…

the east 1

One of the main highlights of this one has to be for our main character Sarah, played by Brit Marling.  I saw Brit Marling once before in Another Earth. If you missed that review, you can check it out HERE.  I’m going to start with her because I really love the cast in this.  So, our main character is the one that is tugged in both directions as she tries to survive this undercover mission while having to make the right decision and choice that would not make her feel morally compromised.  Its a lot about morals and ethics of both The East and the big corporations that are targeted. Brit Marling did a fantastic job in portraying the development of her character.

the east scene

Aside from her, we have out male lead Alexander Skarsgard.  Yes, the very handsome Eric in True Blood for those who don’t know. I’ve never seen him in anything outside of True Blood so I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. He played the leader of The East called Benji.  Seriously, I’m not sure about his acting or if there was quite that much. It was a very quiet communication on his part and right away, you know that Benji was a character with something more.  Along with him is one of my favorite young actresses, Ellen Page.  Obviously, this is somewhere far from Juno and less intense and psychotic than Hard Candy but I have to say that she’s represents her character Izzy.  Izzy has a “jam” (what they call their operations) that has more personal value to her and right off the bat, you know that she’s dedicated and protective.  She wants things to work out perfectly and because of her lack of trust, it causes some conflicts as well.

the east alex skarsgard

I don’t know what else to say about this one.  Both my boyfriend and I enjoyed it.  It was intense, heavy and targeted some pretty relevant issues actually.  Its an exploration of what is doing the right thing, how extreme it could get and learning how to not morally compromise the situation and finding that balance.  There’s a lot of things that is in this but despite the slightly slow beginning, it picks up to be something quite good.  There is an unnecessary part of the story that I figured would happen but it wasn’t particularly needed but most stories like to add that emotional factor in.  Yes, its worth your time and yes, its good watch.  Don’t do this when your brain is fried because it will get your head moving.  But, I don’t know, who actually watches thrillers when they are tired?

I’m rambling but what I’m saying is that this is pretty good and I do recommend it 🙂

Have you seen The East? Any thoughts?