Under the direction of a ruthless instructor, a talented young drummer begins to pursue perfection at any cost, even his humanity.
Directed by: Damien Chazelle
When I sat down to watch this film, I didn't know what to expect. I am not usually a fan of films about musicians but this was a brilliant and tense masterpiece. The story is of a very ambitious boy named Andrew (played by Miles Teller) who is a music student in New York. He aspires to be noticed by a prestigious music teacher named Fletcher (played by J.K. Simmons). As his wish starts becoming a reality, he realises the brutality of this teacher who continually pushes him with questionable methods. Damien Chazelle's direction is almost of a tense boxing or war action drama in that it constantly uses the music of the drumming to build the tension whilst using violent and sharp editing whilst the jazz band play. Chazelle's screenplay is very well written. It is filled with humour, tension and heartbreak. The way in which Fletcher switches during Andrew's first lesson is expertly done. Fletcher relentlessly insults Andrew in a very shocking way which really creates a huge sense of sympathy for Andrew's character as he struggles to respond. The insulting dialogue is very similar to Stanley Kubrick's 'Full Metal Jacket' in that it is both humourous and disturbingly distressing. The performances in this film are remarkable. Miles Teller is a relative newcomer but takes to this character with so much depth and understanding. The drumming scenes look like incredible and torturous workouts and Teller really shows the pain and agony his character is going through to reach his dream. The chemistry between the two central characters is flawless. J.K. Simmons is perfect as the abusive music teacher. Simmons manages to combine Fletcher's distinguished persona with his terrifying unpredictability. Simmons reminds me of his character in Valve's 'Portal 2' in which he continuously spouts insults at the player in a darkly hilarious way. Overall, 'Whiplash' is a fascinating study of passion, ambition and love. The film asks questions about the morality of getting one's dreams and the acceptable methods of acquiring them. Full of amazing performances all around, and created with such intensity and spirit, my final rating for this film is 4.5 stars. ★★★★½
Right of Way Films
1 hr 47 mins
$ 3,300,000.00 (Estimated)
$ 13,092,000.00 (USA)
$ 9,792,000.00 (Estimated in USA)