Director: Damien Chazelle
Writer: Damien Chazelle
Released: October 2014
Featuring: Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons and Paul Reiser—
I’m sure you’ve heard of Whiplash, and referred to it as ‘that drumming film with Juno‘s dad in it.’
Or, perhaps you first heard of it when J.K. Simmons won best supporting actor at the Oscars for his role in Whiplash. (Which, OH MY GOD did he deserve. He was… Every teacher I’ve ever feared.)
Although, I reckon everyone should have known Whiplash as ‘that amazing film I went to see yesterday for the second time’. Yet, at least in Auckland’s case, it was barely shown – if at all – in the major cinemas.
“Not my tempo.” – Terence Fletcher (J.K. Simmons)
This film has the darkness of Black Swan, the mind-twisted characters of Nightcrawler, and the photography of… What’s a fantastically-lit and composed movie… The King’s Speech? Anyway. Very well shot indeed.
It was like a way more intense and less-uplifting version of Peaceful Warrior. (A movie about a gymnast mentally and physically pushed to the limit.)
The basic plot is about Andrew Neiman (Miles Teller), a first-year college/university jazz drummer at America’s best music school. J.K. Simmons is his teacher who has a few screws loose. Whiplash is the internal battle of a boy’s appetite for fame and success, while being drained by his teacher who plays mind games and throws chairs at him and what not.
You don’t have to be a drummer, a musician, or even like music to thoroughly enjoy this movie. However, I have heard from some of my drummer friends that if you do play drums, you will notice some inaccuracies. (Probably like how horseriders feel when watching horse movies.)
I think the only thing holding this move back was its simplicity… Or maybe that aided it… I’m not too sure, but I wonder if Whiplash could have become as disturbing as Black Swan with some more scenes expressing Neiman’s inner emotions..?
“WERE YOU RUSHING, OR WERE YOU DRAGGING!?” – Terence Fletcher (J.K. Simmons)
You must watch this scene!:
Despite that, I loved it… Loved it, loved it, loved it. I got so stuck into the story, completely immersed in Andrew Neiman’s struggle, obsession and frustration.
I’d be so happy to see more of this sort of film in the cinema. If you’ve got an appetite for dark and emotionally exhausting films, this is for you.
Jodie’s rating: 9/10