Exam (2009) – Review


Along the lines of 12 Angry Men, which is still inarguably the most superior of its kind, Exam is a gripping 90-minute venture that sets the ball rolling before you even blink.

A powerful corporation. A lethal job. One room. Eight candidates. A blank question paper. A set of rules. And the clock starts ticking.

The film boasts an exciting premise, which is boosted by some fascinating character interplay. Though the movie sometimes goes over the top while dealing with dramatic gender and racial stereotyping, the level of pretense is in check all the time. The film works on duality in every frame – good versus evil, right versus wrong, intelligence versus emotions, thinker versus doer, and comes out with an intriguing notion on how human mind works when survival is the keyword ringing inside. One job. One job only. And it is I who will get it. A movie so potentially violent could have easily tempted the director to shoot a remorseful display of torture among the candidates but it is quite comforting to see him not fall in that trap. However, you would be thoroughly entertained by the sharp pangs of sarcasm hopping out the tongues, quite necessary to the flavor of the situation lying in front of the characters. Extreme close-up shots during tense moments make you feel that you personally develop intricate portraits of those characters’ emotions all alone in a dark room.

There is weirdness. There is perversion. There is aberration. And there are some seriously funny moments that begin with laughter and end with wryness. Watch this if you love single-room tick-tock thrillers relying heavily on incisive response of characters to a claustrophobic situation. Exam will test your nerve not by action but by words.


  1. Anonymous | 8th Mar 11

    Dear Praveen,

    Being an avid reader of your blog, I find you reviewing movies which have a different genre/style of making or at least something novel. Can you review Nadunisi Naaygal? This is just a request from my side as I didn't find any other blog/critic expressing a comprehensive/balanced opinion about the movie. (Of course, if you didn't like the movie, its fine…I would presume that the movie is not worth your review)

    Thanks… – An anonymous fan of your writings.

  2. K Praveen | 8th Mar 11

    Thank you so much for reading my blogs, anon! See, that's the nickname given to you 🙂

    I haven't watched Nadunisi Naaygal yet. Would surely review it soon 🙂

    Stay healthy. Don't stay anon.

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