Last night I watched The East (2013), when it was telecast on Star Movies. Directed by Zal Batmanglij, this suspenseful thriller starts off pretty well, but soon starts to falter, and becomes pretty predictable.

Brit Marling & Alexander Skarsgård in 'The East'

Brit Marling & Alexander Skarsgård in ‘The East’

Zal Batmanglij’s The East deals with a group of anarchists, who call themselves ‘The East’, who execute covert operations against major corporations. Brit Marling plays an operative for an elite private intelligence firm, who infiltrates this group to find out information of their intended targets. Here she meets an interesting group of characters who don’t seem as bad as they sound. In fact they seem more like a peace loving group of hippies with great, self-righteous, philosophies. Alexander Skarsgård, Ellen Page, Toby Kebbell and Shiloh Fernandez play the four main lead anarchist characters. Soon we see the lead character being seduced into loving the anarchist group. But are they actually any better than the conniving evil corporations they target?? The lines are pretty blurred. As I’ve stated many a times in the past, nothing is ever black or white, not even a black and white movie, there’s always shades of grey. So it is, in the case of this movie as well, we can not pin point which side is bad and which is good. Both, the evil firms and this eco-terrorists’ group, have their negative side. It’s morally wrong to side with either of them completely.

The Best thing about the movie are the Jams. Especially the first one, where the radical group dose a pharmaceutical giant, along with all the people in attendance, with his own faulty drug, at a function. But what about other innocent people there?? Aren’t they killing off other ordinary people to teach one company a lesson? Collateral damage?? But who gave them the right to play god??? The pharmaceutical company is wrong to introduce a faulty drug out into market. But that doesn’t make what ‘The East’ does right. A very thought provoking movie. I enjoyed it up to the second jam. Just after the second jam, one of the crucial members of ‘The East’ gets shot (I shan’t give away which one), and consequently another member decides to leave. Post this the movie stars to falter, and becomes pretty predictable.

The whole cast is superb, as is the direction of this movie. Yet the movie could have been so much better. The film also stars Patricia Clarkson, Julia Ormond, Jason Ritter and Billy Magnussen. Rating : 6/10 

The EastNuwan Sen’s Film Sense

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