When I first heard about the movie Whiplash, I thought “This will be another movie that will take my back to my awkward band years.” I was right in a sense.
This movie reminded me of the part of band that I loved the most. That was intense pressure to be perfect. I’ve felt this in almost everything that I love doing today. Whether it was cross country and trying to win every race that I could or academically trying to get the highest grade. I never really accomplished those goals very well because … I just wasn’t very spectacular at anything that I tried. Anyways, on to the movie.
This film was an indie film that made the audience feel strong emotions. It is directed by Damien Chazelle who is a young director who made a very big splash during award season for this movie. It follows Andrew Neiman (Miles Teller) who wants to be the greatest jazz drummer of all time. He is guided by what some would call bi-polar conductor Terrance Fletcher (J.K. Simmons) who knows how to push people to be willing to practice almost non-stop to be perfect for him. The film follows Teller through his quest to perform with the “corp” band at Schafer Conservatory. He practices constantly and ruins friendship and other opportunities to make new friends so that he can continue to practice.
That’s a brief summary of this fantastic film and honestly I won’t ruin the plot for you because it keeps you on the edge of your seat. It isn’t very hard to get sucked in and it seems significantly shorter than the run time of 107 minutes. It incorporates elements of surprise and the ending is the best I’ve seen in a very long time. The pace feels natural and not scripted at all. J.K. Simmons has more memorable quotes than a Drake mixtape. He was definitely deserving of the Oscar for best supporting actor. Miles Teller is also fantastic for his surprising witty comebacks and overall he works well in the role of aspiring musician.
My favorite scene in the film was a dinner table scene that I have experienced in my life where accomplishments in different fields are measured and you can’t explain to people what your life goals mean in comparison to other’s because they are less known. Teller has a hard time telling his relatives about his drumming in comparison to his cousin’s football playing career or his other cousin’s career in model UN. His uncle wants him to have friends to be with him until he dies and Teller wants to be remembered forever. His family can’t comprehend his aspirations because other musicians have died relatively young and their lives didn’t have as much value in their eyes due to their lack of friends or longevity of life. It makes you feel for him that he can’t gather up support because his dreams don’t compare to the “normal” way.
My overall review of this movie is go see it! I own it on blu-ray and after 2 weeks or so of owning it. I’ve seen it 3 times. I loved it that much! Do yourself a favor and go see it. You won’t regret it.
Overall grade: 3/3