Whiplash
Acting
Directing
Cinematography
Sound
Timeless
  • Brilliant acting by two amazing actors
  • JK Simmons is despicable and terrible – and it’s so awesome to watch
  • Incredibly great and fitting soundtrack
  • A few plot shortcuts were taken to serve the purpose of the film
4.9Overall Score

It almost seemed that I was poised not to see Whiplash, on Friday night the theater was sold out and then on Saturday, I was smart to buy two tickets in advance. What I wasn’t smart enough for, was to be there on time and as a consequence my wife had to sit in opposite sides of the theater which almost led to yet another “cancellation” of this event by my wife…but I could convince her to stay and I think in the end we both walked out of the movie … entrenched, captivated and mentally grossed out. The story is mostly unfolded in the trailer and/or by the IMDB summary: “A promising young drummer enrolls at a cut-throat music conservatory where his dreams of greatness are mentored by an instructor who will stop at nothing to realize a student’s potential.”

Courtesy of http://newyorker.com

Courtesy of http://newyorker.com

And if I had to summarize this film in one word, I would say: focus. This movie is laser focused on one thing, the conflict of its two main characters. And boy that it does really well. It builds up the character of Miles Teller and JK Simmons very straightforward and does not waste too much time. One is the apprentice and he wants to be the best at what he does no matter the price – he doesnt need any friends, he doesnt need to be liked, all he wants is to be the best drum player of all times. And his teacher (brilliant JK Simmons) wants only the best in his class, he doesnt need to be liked or looked up to. He treats his students like s*** and interestingly enough, nobody dares to ever speak up. And that is the very focus of this film. It builds up the conflict of its main characters – up to a certain climax and then another one and then bamm – the movie is headed towards its “finalo furiouso”. And throughout the journey, the (34!!!-year old) director Damian Chapelle takes us basically through a music festival and adds another main ingredient to this film – Jazz. The soundtrack of Whiplash is so powerfully riveting and so fitting that I had to go home after watching the film and listen to it again – and that happens only rarely to me. But afterwards, you just have to listen to Whiplash again and again and let the film play again through your head. It was just so amazing.

When I mentioned the focus as the main strength of the film, it is probably also its biggest weakness – through this very focus, the movie does take a few plot shortcuts which don’t particularly make sense and ignores a few “life-changing” events which are also fully ignored just to serve the purpose of this film – exploring the conflict and relationship of its main characters. But the good thing about this weakness is, it is very weak and fully outweighed by the strengths of this movie. I was sitting in my chair in the cinema and was fully immersed into this film. By bad or maybe even good luck, I was sitting in the first row on the left corner and thus, the close up shots of instruments, the characters screaming, sweating, hating was even more intense. It was just awesome.

So, I am writing this review much later than I had initially planned but I can still vividly remember this film, and because it was so great I really wanted to finish this review so y’all know one thing: “If you still haven’t watched Whiplash…DO IT, DO IT NOW!”

Info
whiplash

Courtesy of http://impawards.com

  • Running time: 107 min
  • Genre: Drama
  • Year: 2014

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