*****NOMINATED FOR 5 OSCARS*****
Anybody love music around here? How about jazz drumming? Anybody passionate about something? I must admit that right now I am feeling passionate about Whiplash! WOW! The thing is you don’t have to love music or jazz drumming to love this film. It is captivating and so elegantly presented to us, that you will be at the edge of your seat as you join along in this energetic and powerful film! This movie is like combining Calle 54 and Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket. The result is a pure cinema masterpiece. The entire film feels like an orchestral piece, steady start, upbeat moments, your lulls, and ultimately a climatic conclusion! (By the way if you love jazz music, Calle 54 is a must see!)
Miles Teller plays the protagonist Andrew, who is interested in pursuing a career as a jazz drummer, interested, is putting it very very lightly, this character will literally do anything to become the best he can be. Along to ‘encourage’ him is J.K Simmons, teacher Fletcher. Again, encourage him is putting it very very lightly, and again, Fletcher will literally do anything to push Andrew. The synopsis for this film is very simple. Simple is best? In this case, yes it is. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this film, I’d heard and read many good things about it, no spoilers, though. I was keen to see what all the buzz was about. And boy does Whiplash buzz!
The performances by both Teller and Simmons are Oscar nomination worthy, especially Simmons, who actually just won a Golden Globe for this role. Is this the role that Simmons was born to play? Perhaps. Whiplash is hard to watch, but the urge to see what happens and how its going to happen keeps you hooked, even now as I am writing, I want to leave this keyboard and go and watch it again! It’s that good! The editing and sound editing is clean but abrupt, very useful in building suspense. The colour palette for this film is almost golden, apt for portraying this dark but shiny tale. The music, wow! I must admit I am a lover of Orchestral Jazz, so for me it was like listening to sound waves bouncing off an ocean of liquid gold. Even if you don’t love/like Orchestral Jazz you will appreciate the drive, the desire, the love that Andrew has for his drumsticks and drum kit.
Damien Chazelle is a director to watch. Apparently on set, he wouldn’t yell “cut”, just so that Miles Teller would keep drumming until he was exhausted! That is brilliant/sadistic directing! When Damien couldn’t get Whiplash financed, he made it into a short film, and submitted it into the Sundance Film Festival in 2013, it won the Short Film Jury Award, it got funded shortly after that! And then, in only 19 days finished the filming, and in just about 10 weeks, Whiplash was complete, ready for our pleasure. Thats drive, thats perseverance! Teller is also one to keep watching, he can act, and he can also play the drums. Teller is a self-taught drummer since the age of 15. In preparation for this film, he took lessons 4 hours a day, 3 days a week! Thats dedication. We can expect to see Miles Teller and Damien Chazelle working together again in an upcoming film entitled La La Land, can’t wait!
When I finished watching this film with my wife, we were both in awe. We needed to have a discussion on the film. That doesn’t always happen to us, but when it does, its evidence that we’ve just witnessed art. Whiplash is art, it has, what is now, one of my favourite closing scenes for a film. Need some inspiration or motivation? Munch on Whiplash, you’ll be full of inspiration and motivation, plus you’ll find yourself tapping your fingers on any surface you can find!
TRIVIA COOKIE: In a scene were Andrew tackles Fletcher to the ground, J.K Simmons, who plays Fletcher, suffered 2 cracked ribs.