BY JENNA SIMPSON
The East is another movie from indie actress, producer, and screenwriter Brit Marling, whose previous films Another Earth and Sound of My Voice were written to address the lack of meaty and interesting roles for young women in Hollywood. (Rumour has it that Marling wrote the script for one film in the morning and the other in the afternoon.) This time around, Marling plays a deep cover investigator for a private intelligence firm who infiltrates the East, a radical anarchist/ecoterrorist collective bent on punishing corporations for their capitalist-driven sins.
Like her two previous efforts, Marling carries The East quite handily. Although her acting is at times a bit flat, there is something kind of captivating about her, and she comes across as intelligent. The East also stars Ellen Page, whose performance is best described as “middling,” and Alexander Skarsgard as the intrepid anarchist leader (aside: isn’t this an oxymoron?). Skarsgard does a pretty decent job, although sadly for much of the movie he does a fair impression of a yeti and we cannot see his handsomeness. Sadface.
The plot was pretty predictable in some points, with a fair amount of obvious foreshadowing. Nevertheless, it was still pretty enjoyable. The clear message the film presents makes The East quite entertaining and resonant, and sets it apart from a lot of the other cinematic options out there. And, the very end is pretty unexpected, so points for that.
My verdict: worth the rental!