Exam: 80 Minutes 8 Candidates 1 Answer No Question (2009)

Posted: February 26, 2011 in Mystery, Thriller

How far would you go for the ultimate job? For 8 candidates, they have 80 minutes to answer a single question. The problem is there does not seem to be a clear question to which to respond. There are rules to follow including avoiding talking to the guard or camera, not spoiling their paper and not leaving the room. The prize of the ultimate job seems to be a mystery as well, but these 8 candidates seem willing to try anything to earn the chance for the position.

Starring: Adar Beck (Dark), Gemma Chan (Chinese Girl), Nathalie Cox (Blonde), John Lloyd Fillingham (Deaf), Chukwudi Iwuji (Black), Pollyanna McIntosh (Brunette), Luke Mably (White), Jimi Mistry (Brown), Colin Salmon (The Invigilator), Chris Carey (The Guard)

With the setting being so simple (1 room for the entire movie), the focus on the film is on the individuals as they work to discover the question, the answer and their purpose for being there. Luke Mably (White) plays the loud but inquisitive candidate who takes over as the unofficial leader of the group as they search for the question. His brash and direct style serves as the element to keep the story moving. Jimi Mistry (Brown) adds to the tension of the room as he acts as the opposing side for Mably’s agressive tactics. While Mably continually searches for methods to discover the question, Adar Beck (Dark) is a mysteriously increasing bank of information which decreases the level of trust in the room. Nathalie Cox (Blonde) basically serves as the moral high ground and kind personality which ultimately allows for a clearer perspective on how to play the game.

For a film that takes place in one room with a dwindling cast, there is a lot of complexity to the story. Fighting for the chance at a position, the cast has to first understand the parameters of the exam before they even know where to begin. While White is able to identify some of the unspoken rules/parameters, he also seems to miss the most important facts from the initial explanation, which are ultimately taken advantage of by another candidate who pays attention. Hazeldine creates the strongly woven set of individual stories and plot devices that makes for a confusing ride all the way until the final second of the exam.

I took this recommendation from a co-worker and was not disappointed by the complexity and simplicity of the story. Definitely a worthwhile experience.

Dan’s Rating: 3.5/5

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