Eye For Film >> Movies >> Exam (2019) Film Review
Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson
Tension is magnified and multiplied in Iranian writer/director Sonia K Hadad's short film about a teenage schoolgirl Sadaf (Sadaf Asghari) on the day of an exam. Her need to be at her school desk on time is trumped by the desires of her father - never seen, yet dominant - who insists that she drop off a 'package' for someone on the way there.
What the package contains isn't immediately evident, but Sadaf's twitchy body language tells us that it's something illicit and, when the customer doesn't show up, something that she then has to take with her to school.
Threat is lurking everywhere for Sadaf, even once she gets to the schoolroom as she finds herself unable to make anything other than a dangerous choice. Asghari allows the slow creep fear to spread through Asghari - winning an award for her performance at Sundance for her trouble - with Hadad giving her actress space and time to flesh out her characters emotions without over-cluttering the script. Although the film retains a tight focus on its specific story, Hadad is also offering glancing, but scathing, commentary about the patriarchy and authority more generally - and how the innocent can be easily caught up in problems far from their own making. This is the third short Hadad has made and it has the feel of something made by a director more than ready to make the step up to features.Reviewed on: 01 Jan 2021