Monday, April 11, 2011

Movie review: "Exam"

This Sunday I have watched "Exam". I've been planning to watch this movie for some time now, ever since I heard that it takes place in one room and that many people recommended it. I mean, it has to be a good movie to get props with all the action taking place... at one place. It turned out it is.

The movie starts with eight people coming to a room to take a final exam for a highly sought place in some mysterious company. We don't know anything about the people, the job or the company. After getting some very specific and very strange instructions, examinees are left to answer a single question in span of 80 minutes. The problems start when they discover that question is hidden and they first have to find it.

This movie is a puzzle, for audience as much as characters. You are challenged (not directly, but even so) to solve the mystery before them. Even if you fail, you will have fun guessing and second-guessing before being handed the final solution. We have a slight advantage, because at beginning of the movie we are shown some minor clues. Best way to describe this movie in few words would be "Saw, but without the blood". That is not to say that there is no violence in this movie, just not so graphical.

As I said, at the beginning to the movie you don't know anything about the job or the company. You are also let believe that the movie is happening in present. Later you find out that it actually describes a recent future, slightly dystopian. Even though you receive only few details, you get an impression of well imagined and developed background. Cast is practically unknown, but they did a very good job. As for characters, they are very interesting and diverse. You don't even get their names, instead using a "Reservoir Dogs" trick giving them color-names.

After watching the movie, you can find many objections to the story and solution, but nevertheless you don't feel cheated at the end, which is very important. During the watching you will probably be too focused to notice any flaws.

Although some will not like the realization (eight people, one room), "Exam" is a very good movie for those who like puzzles and movies that make the think and try to compete with the characters in reaching the solution.

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