“There are no two words in the English Language more harmful than good job.” Whiplash is a story about taking a skill and perfecting it. It is about pushing oneself to their limits and suffering and sacrificing on their way to success. The story follows Andrew Neimann (Miles Teller), a first year student at the prestigious Shaffer Conservatory of music. The film begins showing him practicing the drums in a practice room. While he is playing the school’s most infamous music conductor, Terence Fletcher (portrayed by J.K Simmons), comes in and begins critiquing him. Then he promptly leaves after minor instruction. Neimann plays the drums in the schools first year band and yearns for more success. Then after Fletcher visits his classroom, he decides to invite Neimann to play in his advanced studio band. From there, the relationship between the two develops, in a rather violent way. The movie is driven by Fletcher pushing Andrew to his limits, using rather violent and degrading means in the process.
Whiplash is intense from start to finish. I found it hard to look away from my computer during the duration of the film. J.K Simmons portrayal of the aggressive Fletcher is phenomenal, earning him the Oscar for best actor in a supporting role, which he undoubtedly earned. Teller’s performance is also one of excellence. He keeps the audience rooting for him and sharing in his hatred of Fletcher throughout the film.
Whiplash also has a great soundtrack, littered with great jazz pieces that will keep your foot tapping constantly. The only downfall of this film is the pointless attempt at romance thrown into the plot. There was no need for this side plot and the film would have actually been much stronger without it.
In conclusion, Whiplash is an amazing film. It has amazing replay value and a plotline that can never get old. Plus Simmon’s career performance carries the film to epic proportions. Whiplash is rated R and is full of poor language, but the movie is one that almost the whole family could view. It tells an amazing story, is engaging throughout, and has a cast that outperforms themselves in every way. I highly recommend you step into beat and go see this movie.
I give this film, 9 drums out of 10.
Chase Petty (firstname.lastname@example.org)