Newest Review: ... my motivation for choosing this film and curiosity is what got me through it. There were times throughout this film where I wanted to give... more
Will you work out the question?
Member Name: Holland1
Advantages: Different, attention-grabbing, surprising, gets you thinking
Disadvantages: Not ideal if you like to get to know characters in films
After the exam invigilator had left the room, and the candidates looked at their papers, they realise that the papers are blank and do not contain any questions. At first, I did worry that we were going to sit there for 80 minutes watching a room of confused people staring at a piece of paper. After a while, however, one of the candidates speaks up, and points out that the rules of the exam did not preclude them from communicating. The candidates give each other nicknames, as they don't have time to get to know each other, but by collaborating, they try to work together to figure out the question....and the answer.
This was a really unusual film, and one that managed to capture my imagination and hold my attention throughout. I find it very easy to get confused or distracted during films, in a way that doesn't happen when I read a book. I don't know why but my mind wanders easily, and I also struggle to relate to anything which requires me to suspend belief, so it takes something out of the ordinary to draw me in and hold my attention. Amazingly, this film managed to do that despite the fact the entire film is based in one small room. I did wonder if it might be boring, but it was far from it.
The unusual thing about this film is that it is more of a "problem solving" analytical film than anything else, although I'm aware this isn't actually a genre. It has a little bit of action, some human emotion, very little humour, but mostly, you are trying to figure out the answer to the conundrum. Admittedly, the characters are all fairly ambitious and hard-faced, making them difficult to connect with or warm to, but this doesn't seem to matter. The thing that captures your attention isn't so much who will get the job, but what the question is.
Not liking the characters doesn't reflect on the acting skills in the film. I thought the characters were convincing enough, but I think the plot of the film means it would only work if the characters were all out for themselves, as each one has limits on how far they will go to get the job of their dreams. Think "The Apprentice" but on a life-or-death scale. We don't really get to know the characters particularly well either, as the film is set over 80 minutes rather than over months or years. But again, this doesn't matter, and in fact is quite refreshing as we don't even know the names of each character, and are told very little about their circumstances. There are no big names in this film in terms of actors, in fact I didn't recognise anyone in it so rather than type out a list of names I've never heard of, I would recommend visiting http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1258197/ for a full cast list.
The ending of the film (don't worry, no spoilers here!) is quite surprising and one of those penny dropping moments, I was really hoping the end would be sensible having sat through an hour and half of the film, and I was pleased to see there were no loose ends or ridiculous curveballs thrown in. It really is quite obvious when you know the answer, and I was kicking myself for not realising what the challenge was. Obviously some of the scenes in between where the characters are trying to outwit each other, and some of them will go further than others in terms of backstabbing, require a little "going with the flow" and I had to stop myself from saying "A real company would never allow that to happen", because otherwise it would be a very dull film! But overall, I found this film to be realistic and believable.
Overall, I would recommend this film as something that will grab your attention, and it's a little different to anything I've seen before so it was nice to mix things up on our film night at home.
(Review also appears on Ciao under the username Gingerkitty)
Summary: Something different