Tuesday, February 1, 2011


"How far would you go for the ultimate job?"

Simple plot filled with thousands of twists. Minimal costumes, sets, cameras. Lots of possibilities, but what will be the outcome? Exam tells the story of the 8 finalists for one of the best jobs in the world. They have fought their way over hundreds of applicants, interviewed, tested and auditioned to narrow the field to these final 8. They are brought together, in one claustrophobic room, for the final step in the hiring process. An exam. The exam has just one question and only one answer. They have 80 minutes. The exam begins. The applicant's blood pressure and competitive juices rise as they turn over their exam papers. All have fought long and hard to get this fantastic job and all the income and prestige that comes with it. One thing. As they turn over their exams the papers are blank. Nothing is written upon them. If they leave to room or ask a question of the officials they are immediately disqualified. What to do? How do I offer an answer and get the job, with its fame and fortune, if I don't know the question? What would you do?

Exam is a very simple premise done with a psychological thriller attitude. You can feel the pressure building amongst the applicants as the clock ticks down towards the end of the exam. And, perhaps, the end of their dreams. Writer/Director Stuart Hazeldine allows that pressure to build to an intriguing ending. But the missing question on the minds of the applicant is the question for the film's viewers as well. We are presented with a riddle and allowed time to consider its answer. Will you notice the possible answers along the way and which one will you choose?

Will you "pass" the exam and become rich and famous? Or will you fall-by-the-wayside and miss out on the opportunity? I found the riddle concept of Exam to be worth the viewing. However, this film is very simple. Simple characters, only one set and fairly predictable dialogue. If riddles and their answers don't intrigue you, avoid this film. It is the possibilities offered that make this movie worth seeing, not the answer.

Filmed in 2009, written and directed by Stuart Hazeldine, starring Adar Beck, Gemma Chan, Luke Mably and Nathalie Cox.

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