Rapid Review: Whiplash (2014)

whiplash poster

“There are no two words in the English language more harmful than “good job”.”
– Terence Fletcher

SYNOPSIS: 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. – via IMDB

whiplash madness

GRADE 8.5Whoa, what an intense watch! I mean I know that the film garnered a lot of love and admiration since the release, and people have waxed lyrical about JK Simmons and the film and all that, but after finally having caught Whiplash, I get it. Whiplash is such a heavy watch, starting off innocently enough and then rocketing on to big and crazy things. Miles Teller was very good in here, and I enjoyed him, but JK Simmons is undeniably the star here. It was so interesting to watch the way that Andrew changes after he comes into contact with Fletcher, and it isn’t a small one, either, though it is gradual. I do enjoy the way this movie looks at pushing an individual to achieve more. Not everyone responds to positive reinforcement, but where are the boundaries when pushing someone? When is it too far? Whiplash explores this, and the bizarre relationship between Andrew and Fletcher will get you thinking. On one hand, you understand certain things that Fletcher does, and how he manages to get people to push themselves to achieve the very best they can, and on the other hand, Fletcher is a total toolbag that needs to be brought into line. Teller worked well, and I admire the dedication he put into the role, to up his drumming capabilities, etc. He played his part, and his splintering personality and change of attitude is mesmerizing to watch. As for Simmons? He owned the screen all the time, and when he was up there he did not fail to fascinate you and repulse you in equal measure. The film was visually stunning, and I loved the sound and the way the film was shot. It looked great. Also, the supporting characters are not really important in this movie, Whiplash is all about Andrew and Fletcher, and that is perfectly alright, seeing as it makes for a dramatic study on right, wrong, motivation, dedication, and change. Whiplash really could have gone a whole different, bland way, but the performances from Teller and Simmons, as well as the execution of the film, make it something commanding, domineering, riveting and thought-provoking. Damien Chazelle knew exactly what to do with the film to make it riveting and powerful, something that lingers for quite a while after viewing. I really loved the visuals in this, especially watching the drumming, the blood flying, the sticks, the concentration… that is without even hearing anything. It comes together very well, and I definitely enjoyed it!

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32 thoughts on “Rapid Review: Whiplash (2014)

  1. Abbi says:

    Glad you enjoyed this. I also thought the most interesting thing about this film was looking at whether Fletcher was justified in his behaviour based on the results.

    Liked by 2 people

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