Exam (2009) Movie Review

Exam is a 2009 British psychological thriller film written by Simon Garrity and Stuart Hazeldine, directed by Hazeldine, and starring Colin Salmon, Chris Carey, Jimi Mistry, Luke Mably, Gemma Chan, Chuk Iwuji, John Lloyd Fillingham, Pollyanna McIntosh, Adar Beck and Nathalie Cox.


The film is set in an alternate history, present-time United Kingdom. Eight candidates dress for what appears to be an employment assessment exam. They enter a room and sit at individual desks. Each desk has a paper printed with the word “candidate” and a number from one to eight. The Invigilator, a representative of the company, DATAPREV, explains that the exam is 80 minutes and consists of only one question, but there are three rules: The candidates must not talk to the Invigilator or the armed guard at the door, must not spoil their paper, and may not leave the room. If they do, they will be disqualified. He asks them if they have any questions, then leaves.

As the exam starts, it turns out that the papers are otherwise blank. Within minutes, the Chinese candidate is disqualified for spoiling her paper by writing on it. After her ejection, the seven remaining candidates realize it is permissible to talk and collaborate since it was not forbidden by the rules. One candidate, “White,” assigns nicknames to each candidate based on hair color and skin color: Black, White, Brown, Blonde, Brunette, and Dark, and Deaf for the one candidate who does not speak or respond to the group. The few times Deaf communicates, it’s in French and is confusing to the others. In the hour that follows, the candidates use the lights, their bodily fluids, and fire sprinklers in attempts to reveal hidden text on their papers, to no avail. They speculate on the exam’s purpose and the nature of the company whose identity is shrouded in mystery. Dark says that the CEO is highly secretive and has not been seen since the IPO. It is gradually revealed that the company is responsible for a miracle drug designed to treat a condition afflicting a large part of the population due to a viral pandemic. In the chaos, White takes control of the group and engineers the disqualifications of Brunette and Deaf for spoiled papers.

White taunts the others, saying he has figured out the question but will not tell them. Black punches White in the face, knocking him unconscious, and ties him to a chair. As White passes out, he pleads for his medication, implying he has the virus, but some of them do not believe him. Brown then turns his attention to Dark, who demonstrates a lot of knowledge about the company’s internal workings, and eventually tortures her into revealing that she works for the company. It is revealed that Brown is a carrier of the disease. White then goes into convulsions, proving he has the disease. Dark pleads to the Invigilator for help and is disqualified.

Blonde retrieves the medication for White, which was stolen from him earlier by Brown, and uses it to revive him. The others release White and demand to know the question. White suggests that there is no question and the company will simply hire the last remaining candidate. Black steals the guard’s gun, but it requires the guard’s fingerprint to fire, giving White time to retrieve it. White forces Brown to leave the room at gunpoint, disqualifying him. He forces Blonde to leave; as she exits the room she turns off the voice-activated lights, allowing Black to attack White.

The lights come back on after Black is struck by a gunshot. Blonde is hiding in the hallway, still holding one foot inside the room, technically not having left the room. Before White can kill her, the exam timer runs to zero. White then addresses the Invigilator, sure of his success, but he is disqualified. It is revealed that Deaf had earlier set the countdown forward by a few minutes. Blonde then remembers that Deaf had been using glasses and a piece of broken glass with an exam paper earlier. Taking the abandoned glasses, she finds the phrase “Question 1.” on the exam paper in minuscule writing.

Blonde then realizes that Question 1 refers to the only question asked of the group by the Invigilator at the beginning of the test (“Any questions?”). She answers “No.” The Invigilator then enters and reveals that Deaf is actually the CEO of the company and a scientist rather than a businessman or administrator. Deaf’s research had found the virus cure, but also discovered a method of rapid cell regeneration which is capable of curing both the virus and many other “stubborn mutations”, literally “the gift of life” for millions of people. The bullet that hit Black contained this cure, and he awakens healed. With the desperate need for the drug and a limited supply at any one time, the company needed an administrator capable of making tough decisions with an attention to detail while showing compassion for her fellow man, all traits that Blonde displayed during the exam. Blonde eagerly accepts the job.

My Personal Thoughts

The movie is a psychological thriller movie. And this movie is always good for me. The story is very common. 8 testers participate in the final round exam after a lot of competition for a job in a mysterious and big company. They were taken to a closed room where there is no window and there is only one door. Each of them has a table and chair for each. All of them are given a number from Candidate # 1 to Candidate # 8. An invigorator gives three conditions for the test. 1. The guard or the inspector can not speak or talk to anyone; 2. Examination books or answer papers can not be broken in any way; 3. In any case, the test can not be removed from the hall. If any of these conditions are broken, then it will be disqualified. Here only the rules and regulations of the company will be implemented, not the external laws. They are given 80 minutes to answer a question. Turn off the invigorator stopwatch and leave the Armed Security Guard.

Time is 80 minutes and the question is just one. The answer must be one. But the problem is there in the fight. The answers they give are no question and all the blank pages. They wondered how to answer without question. As soon as a Chinese Candidate started writing the answer sheet, it was disqualified. Others refrain from writing in the answer sheet. After a while, they realized that everyone could talk to each other and work. One Candidate named ‘White’ named after him for contact with each other in the name of ‘Blond’, ‘Brown’, ‘Dark’ etc. They all agreed to work with each other to find out the question. They tried to find out the questions in different ways. At first they thought that there was no question hidden in answer to the question paper. Invisible ink, spit, The light is tested by everything, but nothing happens. In this way the story continues. I did not say the rest You would rather watch the movie.

Expectation about the movie was not too much. But after watching the movie, just one thing came out, ‘WAO’. The plot has been presented in a great way in the movie. Boringa did not even have a moment from beginning to end. Only ten have done the whole film in the movie. Although not very extraordinary, everyone has acted as a sedative. Although none of them are popular actors, let’s see casting once.

Many people did not even know what the question was after even after watching the movie. At the end of the movie, the broken glass caught on the answer sheet and found that the text “Question 1?”, Then what was the question?

At the beginning of the movie, after asking the invisible test rules, everyone asks if there is any question. It was not a simple question. The question of the exam was originally but it was. If a candidate did not have any questions then he would have been elevated to the examination. Blund later realized that he was asked only one question. So he answered ‘No Kovishchen’. After that the Invisilator and CEO entered and told him that he was promoted in the examination.

I will highly recommend this movie to watch and i will rate this movie 7/10.

Directed byStuart Hazeldine
Produced by Stuart Hazeldine Gareth Unwin
Written by Stuart Hazeldine Simon Garrity
Starring Adar Beck Gemma Chan Nathalie Cox John Lloyd Fillingham Chuk Iwuji Pollyanna McIntosh Luke Mably Jimi Mistry Colin Salmon
Music by Stephen Barton Matthew Cracknell
CinematographyTim Wooster
Edited byMark Talbot-Butler
Bedlam Productions Hazeldine Films
Distributed byIndependent
Release date June 2009 (EIFF) 8 January 2010 (United Kingdom)
Running time101 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

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