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Whiplash (2014)

October. 10,2014
| Drama Music

Under the direction of a ruthless instructor, a talented young drummer begins to pursue perfection at any cost, even his humanity.


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I've played guitar for 22 years, bass for about 19 years and drums for less than three. I'm pretty good at guitar and bass and intensely average on drums but this is probably because I have only ever viewed these instruments as fun. I never intended to set out to be the best there is, was or ever will be; I play them because I enjoy it and I can express myself through the strings and sticks. In this respect, I'm in the vast majority of players. Genius doesn't think like that. Geniuses are born with that certain something and then devote themselves to an eternity of practice, rudiments, blood, sweat and tears to get to where they want to be and then improve on that. Andrew Neiman (Miles Teller) is one such prodigy; a gifted young jazz drummer who has won a place at the esteemed Schaffer Music School and it is here that he meets Fletcher. Imagine if R. Lee Ermey's drill sergeant from Full Metal Jacket was taking tips from The Thick Of It's Malcolm Tucker in the art of personal relations and then give him sheet music and the role of band conductor. That's Fletcher, a truly hateful character but one whom you buy into completely thanks to the performance of the always majestic J.K. Simmons and the fact that despite his monstrousness, one can see what he's doing. His plan is to wring every last drop of sweat and blood out of his musicians so that they may be the next Charlie Parker. He just chooses to do so through intimidation and terrific insults. He's happy to be the bad guy if it makes the good guy great. This is where the film succeeds so completely, in the at-times unbearably tense relationship between two men who want the same thing: perfection. Whiplash doesn't get everything right. There's a love story that feels as unnecessary as it is light and I do wonder if non musicians will get the same out of this film as players will because if you're a musician (and especially if you're a drummer), this film is practically porn. Teller is clearly a gifted drummer because as far as I could tell, what you see and hear are the same; the people on screen are really playing and it's spellbinding. That said, I think it's a film that will get past any concerns about it being niche due to the ferocity of the performances. You certainly don't have to like jazz and I hope you don't have to be a musician to appreciate fully this dramatic, tense and utterly terrific film. 9/10


While watching a great film, you can either be transported to a fictional place or connect with a realistic situation. Damian Chazelle blends these two to create the best modern tragedy/drama film there is. Damian Chazelle uses dialogue and visuals to introduce and explore characters better than many recent directors. Once these characters are introduced, we begin to make connections with these characters. The main character, Andrew, has a goal of becoming the best drummer of all time. Although this specific goal isn't something we can all connect with, Chazelle manipulates us so that for an hit and 40 minutes all we want is for Andrew to become the best drummer. Fletcher, his tyrannical teacher, is his main obstacle. Jk Simmons puts on a near perfect performance conveying his complete understanding of his character. Chazelle focuses mainly on his characters to develop the story. Through this he creates stakes, revelations, and brings out or emotions.


Whiplash is one of the most intense movie I've seen of all time, the film is very well acted and written and directed, the two main actors are great and the music is really good, one of the main themes of the film is that negative reinforcement is a good thing and the film leaves many things to interpretation to whatever that a good thing or not, the music post production syncs with the music played in the movie a lot, well there are times where the music doesn't sync with the music in the movie, the third act is very intense and one of the best third acts i ever seen, J. K. Simmons character motivation is left interpretation it's not clear whatever he cares miles tellers character or not, overall the movie is a very intense and it's funny and the music is really good.


It's really great. Brilliant editing and acting and the direction is excellent. It's really good. I recently rewatched it since I first saw it when it came out. I recommend this for anyone who has good taste in films.