Zal Batmanglij’s The East is a tense and enjoyable thriller about a private sector security consultant Sarah – played by Brit Marling – who infiltrates an anarchist group attacking blue chip companies.
Sarah’s need to report back to HQ sees her ducking and and out of the group, but with each return her detachment from the real world grows and she starts to become attracted to the groups’s charismatic leader (Alexander Skarsgård).
The film touches on the themes of betrayal, exploitation and fanaticism but at times the simplistic, anti-corporate mentality of the group grates and it’s hard to feel much empathy with the characters.
The finale will be a surprise to no-one – you’ve probably already guessed it – and there are a couple of obvious plot gaps.
However Batmanglij’s tight and assured direction saves the day and makes The East a compelling and largely satisfying watch.
In Cinemas 28th June