June 27, 2013

The East (2013)

The East (2013)
Directed by: Zal Batmanglij
Country: USA / UK

Review: Not so thrilling as I was expecting, “The East” is the new incursion of filmmaker Zal Batmanglij in the world of cult groups, two years after his debut “Sound Of My Voice”. Batmanglij wrote both scripts in collaboration with the actress and producer Brit Marling, presenting the same style, mood, and pace. Only this time, the motives that led several people to join a cult group wasn't so suggestive or mysterious, since they embark in a sort of home terrorism to make justice by themselves. Better results would have been achieved without a few stereotyped scenes that transformed it in a less cerebral story and in a much more explicit and conventional thriller. Sarah’s dilemma about doing the job for what she had been paid for, and the growing attachment to the members of a dangerous but sympathetic group, is quite possible and could be sensed, but the film stumbles in little details that don’t bring any benefit to the story. The game of kissing and hugging played by the group members, along with the scene where the owner of an industry dives in contaminated waters, represent good examples of this, and might well have been suppressed without compromising the final goal. Despite gradually losing strength as it moves forward, “The East” still delivers some controversy and intrigue, gained mostly through the moral and ethical issues that raises.

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