Forget Jesse Eisenberg and Will Smith. The biggest star on the silver screen this week is the tale of environmentalist vigilantes in The East who pose as many questions as they answer, and then beg us to discern the difference. (Note: if you think “corporations are people”, this won’t be your cup of tea).
The story tells the fascinating tale of the cult-like group known as ‘The East’, comprised of environmentalists that believe that the only way to put ta stop to corporate greed and profit motive is through violent means. Just because they love the earth doesn’t mean that they are a bunch of hippies holding hands and singing Bob Dylan campside. They ascribe to the concept of fighting fire with fire – and then making that fire emblazoned with the righteous white hot indignation of the oppressed earth.
The group is headed by Benji (Alexander Skarsgård) who brings in new recruit Sarah (Brit Marling, who also co-wrote the film) who is actually a double agent working for a DC intelligence firm. Once inside, she must deal directly with the incalculable evil committed by corporations in the name of profit, while trying to come to terms with the unforgiving and exacting philosophy of her cohorts like Izzy (Ellen Page).
The movie makes excellent strides right up to the end when it shows Sarah fighting between what she thinks is the greater good and the neglected (and possibly greater) good. It falters a little when it gets caught up in a love triangle between Izzy, Sarah, and Benji, but one thing’s for sure here: Marling gets a star turn and this is Page’s best (and most consequential) role in years.