One word describes Whiplash extremely well: intense.
Whiplash is the story of Andrew, a young drummer who’s made it into the best music school in the US. He hopes to join the band led by Fletcher, an instructor who has produced some of the greatest musicians at the school. Unfortunately Andrew doesn’t realise how far Fletcher is willing to push his pupils to succeed…
- J.K. Simmons as Fletcher (you’re never sure if he’s just extremely passionate or extremely evil)
- Miles Teller as Andrew (I’m guessing Mile’s was channeling some of his experiences trying to make it as an actor in this role)
- Miles Teller can actually play the drums, and went through a boot camp to get his jazz drumming skills up to scratch
- The intense emotions between Fletcher and Andrew as Fletcher tries to mold into one of the greatest drummers that ever lived
- The absolutely phenomenal music
- A simple but extremely effective plot
- Move along. Nothing to see here.
- Nothing. Nada. Zip.
As I said at the beginning of this review, Whiplash is intense. It is literally packed to the brim with the blood (more than you’d expect from a film about music), sweat, and tears as characters try to live up to the lofty expectations of their music instructor. The clashes between the personalities, the struggle to be the best, seeing people stumble and try pull themselves back up all make for extremely compelling viewing.
The film itself starts off innocently enough, but you soon start to realise that something is not quite right. This all builds up to an explosive second act ending, then allows you a short while to catch your breath, before throwing you into the final clash between Andrew and Fletcher.
Overall, Whiplash is a great film if you’re into music, but you’ll still probably have a good time as you watch the two main characters struggle in different ways to achieve the same goal. At the end of the day, you’ve got an amazing drama that sometimes feels like a thriller due to the powerful interactions that take place between the main characters, and I would recommend you watch this movie if you haven’t seen it.