Thursday, May 12, 2016

The thriller bucket

 EXAM MOVIE REVIEW – (3/5) – A largely intriguing film which falls apart occasionally

This Stuart Hazeldine film though stimulates your mind, is never able to meet the expectations it sets. It all starts with 8 candidates all ready to leave for an exam which would decide who out of them would get the awaited job. They are kept in a closed room for 80 minutes with rules set by the invigilator himself. He emphasises that there is one question they all need to answer. But as the exam begins, the candidates get the shock of their life, there is nothing on the paper given to them. So the question is, “What is the Question?”. That is where the true mind game starts and the viewers themselves are virtually present in the examination hall with their thinking caps on. Revenge, Drama, Tears, Emotions are all at stake.
Stuart remains victorious in bringing you into that examination hall and puts you in the situation that the protagonists are. But too many close up shots, too many pencil ticking shots and poor background score make you lose the grip occasionally.  But Stuart never lets the film never lets you get off track ever but packs in thrilling moments sure to give you an adrenaline shot.
All our leads do a tremendous job here. They bring in just the right emotion and help you care for them over the runtime of the film. The film though with a runtime of just 95 minutes seems stretched yet deprived of many elements. There are unnecessary parts which get on your nerves and take you away from the otherwise applaudable screenplay. There come moments where you are done with what’s going on and want the climax to rather approach. Moreover, you begin to feel hostage in that room and wish to know something about why the exam’s there, what is it all about. But Stuart never gets out of that room to show you some daylight and rather never is able to explain the purpose of that test.
But still it remains an engaging thriller on the run which would keep the horses of your mind running always guessing who’ll be the final winner after all. But the end is unconvincing and you move out of the hall dissatisfied not getting what was expected.

But all in all, it is a film which deserves a watch for what it presents and how differently it does that. I am going with three out of five for Stuart Hazeldine’s Exam. An engrossing watch which gets crushed under its own weight.

Review by Sakshay Bhatia