The East | Chicago Reader

The East

Screenwriters Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij reteam for a virtual remake of their first collaboration, Sound of My Voice (2011); the earlier film was a sci-fi story about a documentarian infiltrating a futurist cult, whereas this one is a political thriller about a corporate lawyer (Marling) infiltrating an eco-terrorist cell. The narrative arc is identical—the straight-laced protagonist loses her resolve and comes to sympathize with the strange, messianic group—and the activist characters are so sketchy that they seem just like the cultists from Voice. (When the filmmakers try to flesh out the terrorists, they fall back on the conservative cliche that they’re spoiled rich kids, mad at their parents.) As in the previous film, all the actors—even vibrant performers like Ellen Page and Patricia Clarkson—speak in the same stiff, affectless manner. Batmanglij directed.

Credits

Director:

  • Zal Batmanglij

Cast:

  • Brit Marling
  • Alexander Skarsgård
  • Ellen Page
  • Toby Kebbell
  • Shiloh Fernandez
  • Julia Ormond
  • Patricia Clarkson
  • Billy Slaughter
  • Billy Magnussen
  • Wilbur Fitzgerald
  • Pamela Roylance
  • Ava Bogle
  • Danielle Macdonald

Producers:

  • Ridley Scott
  • Michael Costigan
  • Jocelyn Simpson
  • Brit Marling
  • Tony Scott

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