Movie Review : Whiplash

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Andrew (Teller) is a talented drummer enrolled at the country’s best music conservatory. He is hand-picked by a notorious teacher Fletcher (Simmons) to join his ‘cut above the rest ‘ band. This is the band that plays in competitions to get noticed by industry professionals and ultimately, have the musicians signed.

Being selected by Fletcher is a blessing and a curse. He does and will push to get the best out his students but at what price?

Andrew is single-minded in his pursuit of greatness. He does not want to be good, he wants to be great. One of the greats. He is willing to forego everything, including friendships and relationships in order to achieve his goal. But he is also willing to do the hard work. He knows that his talent alone will get him know where, he has to put in the endless hours of practice and then more practice.

When he meets Nicole (Benoist), we see a softer, slightly nervous side to Andrew. His relationship with his father Jim (Reiser) also offers some insight into his character. He is obviously very close to his father but he does realise he must step up and out of his previous life if he is to succeed to the levels he dreams of.

Fletcher is a teacher whose teaching practices border on cruelty. Well, they are cruel to be honest. He is a bully, he is rude, he is arrogant, he runs his studio with fear. His students sit with their heads down until he tells them what to do. He does not give second chances and he expects absolute obedience and absolute respect from all those who study under him.

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This movie is hard to watch. It’s hard to imagine someone being treated so badly and yet returning for more. Fletcher is a loose cannon and I have no idea if teachers like him really do exist and if they do, why does nobody stop them? I guess it’s because everyone’s an adult … or something like that.

Teller is amazing as the young, conflicted drummer but Simmons……WOW!! If he is not nominated for an Oscar for this role, it will be a huge travesty. He is brilliant, beyond brilliant. He is so scary that even I wanted to cry when he clenched his fist (meaning the musicians cease playing immediately) and his gaze settled onto a player.

This is a superb movie. It is everything you think it will be and more. I absolutely adored it and recommend that everyone go and see it now before it ends it’s run. It really is the most amazing movie. And I commend every musician who has ever picked up a musical instrument.

Love Flick xx

Director :  Damien Chazelle

Starring :  Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons, Melissa Benoist, Paul Reiser, Austin Stowell, Nate Lang

Running Time :  107 minutes

Release Date :  30 October 2014

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