This film is full of secrets and undercover ‘heroes’ of the environment and human lives. In the opposing corner are the big and bad corporate leaders whose selfish motivations lead to irreversible and deadly consequences. This is a story that has been discussed, read about, and seen before. However, the way it is presented here is profoundly real. Patricia Clarkson is brilliant portraying a CEO without guilt. Brit Marling is wonderful to watch as both star and co-writer of this film. She is a natural on the screen and keeps us guessing as to which choice she ultimately must make for herself. Working as a spy for an elite private investigation firm, her virgin assignment is to seek out and report back on a super secret anarchist group called The East. Alexander Skarsgard as the sexy, yet damaged unofficial leader of this group is perfect. Ellen Page is the group’s moral compass bent on making things right for those that cannot do it for themselves. Disappointed at the lack of accountability on the part of corporate ‘thugs’ the group decides to handle situations in their own way. The East is hidden in the shadows promoting an eye for an eye revenge philosophy that just might equal out the personal pain and angst of its members.
There is no grey area in this film. It has a definite point of view; however, it does not force the audience to agree. It presents the evidence with confidence and forces us to look at the unfortunate reality of what is happening in the world today. Bad medicine, oil spills, toxic waste. Wasn’t this discussed and fixed back in the 70’s? Not so according this film which delves into the ever more increasing need to fix the wrongs and expose the hypocrisy. Whether you agree or disagree with the message of the movie, it is advisable to see.
Now showing at the NoHo 7 theaters, The East is co-written by the beautiful star, Brit Marling and Zal Batmangli. It is nicely directed by Zal Batamangli who seems to love close ups. The executive producer is David Greenbaum. Keep an eye out for a very nice cameo by the veteran actor Julia Ormond.
This film is rated A-1. (A-1=see it, A-1+=definitely see it, A-1++, do not miss it.)