Zal Batmanglij‘s punkish episonage thriller “The East” could have ended dramatically differently, judging from one of the two alternate endings to the film, both posted below. Often deleted scenes provide a slightly new perspective, but they often feel superfluous, even for DVD extras. These cut scenes from “The East” are not superfluous, but rather show that a substantially different narrative could have taken shape.
In Batmanglij’s film, Brit Marling plays a young operative for a private consulting group, hired to infiltrate an anarchist collective called the East. (TOH’s interview with Marling about her role is here.) Skarsgard plays an effective leader of the East collective, plotting revenge on executives that they suppose are causing environmental harm. After spending time with the East, Marling’s character begins to reconsider her principles and motivations as the stakes heighten. These two new scenes reveal more about the emotional and physical trials endured by Marling’s character.
“The East” will be released on Blu-ray and DVD tomorrow.