“Whiplash” is an intense movie on the subject of music. The film is riveting, vulgar, electrifying, I could not turn away. It stars Miles Teller as Andrew, a young drummer at a competitive music conservatory, and JK Simmons as Fletcher, an abusive and negligent instructor that will be as mean as he can to his students to test them to achieve. Only question is…is it really worth all of the trouble to be so mean to students?
“Whiplash” contains many heavy moments of competition and demand. Director and writer Damien Chazelle (Director of “Grand Piano”, 2013). Does a great job at making the relationship between Andrew and Fletcher seem like a boxing match for success. Also, JK Simmons is at his best, he deserves to win for best supporting actor at the Oscars (I hope he wins). The setup of this movie is captivating, and the film is completely engrossing from beginning to end.
Here is the plot of the film. Andrew is a drummer. He is recognized by Fletcher. Fletcher comes off at first as laid-back and this leaves Andrew to assume he is in for a positive treat to success with his music career being in the hands of this professor. Once he enters the class with him though, he realizes that Fletcher is not as easy-going as he expected. He throws objects at students, calls them names, pushes them to the extreme, and is just very outspoken and unpredictable. Andrew tests Fletcher though, he does not want to quit what he loves doing, he wants to succeed. But can he do it without being abused by Fletcher?
One of the best elements of this movie is its editing. The editor is Tom Cross and he did the editing for “Crazy Heart” (2009). The repetitive intensity of Andrew practicing his music is just mind-blowing. Cross has it transition multiple times where we wonder if Andrew will be one of the best drummers at his conservatory. I see this as something that is also oscar-worthy, since it is attention-grabbing and adds intensity to its plot and the movie’s goal. That goal being a daring movie to viewers.
Overall, “Whiplash” is not for everyone. It contains many moments where it may get intense. But it is a good movie. Not great, but good. Three stars.