A young and talented drummer attending a prestigious music academy finds himself under the wing of the most respected professor at the school; one who does not hold back on abuse towards his students. The two form an odd relationship as the student wants to achieve greatness, and the professor pushes him.Written by
J.K. Simmons was up against Ethan Hawke (for Boyhood (2014)) at the Academy Awards for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. Hawke played his character on and off, occasionally, over the course of 12 years. Simmons played his for 19 days (not including the days playing the same character in the short film of the same name). See more »
During the final scene, when Andrew is walking towards his father, he drops his jacket. He is never shown picking it back up and when he makes the decision to go back on stage he drops his jacket again. See more »
I don't say that often, in fact...never. There aren't enough superlatives to describe the amazingness of Whiplash. Damien Chazelle crafted not just a tense dramatic piece of cinema, but a thematic experience with layered subtext. Andrew is a college student who simply wants to be the best drummer. Terence Fletcher, a renowned teacher at said college, sees potential in Andrew and chooses him to be the drummer in his band, at the expense of emotional distress. This is a brutal character study, absolutely savage. This is about Fletcher as much as it is about Andrew. The psychological battle and the consequential emotional turmoil that follows. I've never been so compelled in a drama ever (and this is my 5th viewing). The strive for perfection amidst the continuous passion that elevates Andrew as a person and how Fletcher uses his passion in attempt to obtain the perfect musician that Andrew hopes to be. The struggle for perfection is difficult in any profession, there is no right or wrong way to achieve this; the question is: "is there a line between gently pushing someone towards a goal or inflicting emotional torture upon them?". Fletcher leans towards the latter, so much so that he actually imposes physical damage to Andrew to test whether he will be discouraged from the harsh reality of perfection or not. The internal struggle in Andrew is excellently conveyed, you can see his passion seeping through the blood, sweat and tears and yet mentally unable to cope with Fletcher's methods. A simple story, but executed with such ferocity and intelligence that it just feels fresh. Damien Chazelle directed the heck out of this. Quick cuts between the musical instruments and nice long takes of Miles Teller and J.K Simmons duelling in anger. Speaking on Simmons, the best performance I've seen in years. Both complicated and terrifying simultaneously, he deserved every award. Teller was near perfect as well, conveying innocence and vulnerability. Look, I can talk about Whiplash forever. It's a masterpiece. End of review.
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