Howdy ladies and gents, I have returned after a few days with a new film review and today I’m FINALLY getting around to talking about Whiplash. I’ve heard so much about the film and since its release in America I’ve heard everyone sing its praises, but I hadn’t seen it and even after its UK release this year I had to wait even longer to view it because my local cinema never bothered to show it. However, I saw it and I’m gonna say this right now, Whiplash is one of the best films I have ever seen, period.
The plot can be summarised as the following: Andrew Neiman is a student jazz drummer and we following him on his journey to become the best drummer ever as seeks the respect and approval of a monstrous teacher, Terence Fletcher.
Talk about an intense film. At the time of me writing this review my heart is still pounding from the intensity of this film, that’s how much of an impression it left on me. Whiplash has a story that would be familiar and relatable to any person who has tried really hard at something that they are passionate about, whether they succeed or failed. This film deals with themes of dedication, passion and obsession. This film is about a power struggle between two opposing forces, both of them want the same thing, but have very different means of how they wish obtain perfection. The amount of tension in this film is unreal with so many moments throughout making sit so still just waiting to see what happens next, its heart-pounding action on the highest level. And that ending, my god, talk about edge-of-your-seat action, one of the most tension-filled, heartfelt and satisfying endings to any film I’ve seen in a long time.
Now let’s talk about that cast. Let’s talk about Miles Teller as Andrew Neiman, bloody hell what a performance. Neiman is a bit of a loner and hangs out with his father, the only outlet he has is drumming and after he comes into contact with Fletcher his drumming technique becomes everything and he works his ass off just to get the approval of one of the meanest teachers ever. Neiman wants to be the best and he goes above and beyond to become the best, to the way he trains and see how fixated he becomes on this hobby after meeting Fletcher shows how much drumming really means to him whether he’s mashing up his hands, getting pissed off at Fletcher or shutting out the people that care about him. Teller commits to this role 100% as he is charming, dedicated and emotive as this kid who literally bleeds for his passion and you feel for him every step of the way. And then there’s J. K. Simmons as Terence Fletcher. Bloody hell, talk about mean. He is a jazz instructor who gives out tough love, but it is only to get the best out of his students and while you understand why he does what he does, it still feels like he steps over the line. Fletcher must be the most disgusting, abusive and cruel teacher in the history of existence, not since Agatha Trunchbull has there been such a mean person who verbally assaults students, however this guy is worse. He verbally rapes anyone who isn’t on-point and he doesn’t care who is watching, and for Neiman is like having the weight of the world on his shoulders. Simmons is so magnetic and attacks this role with such force and aggression, when he’s angry it’s like a frigging hurricane comes and knocks everything over. Also Paul Reiser and Melissa Benoist are good as Jim Neiman and Nicole.
Oh and the presentation was gorgeous. The film was shot really well with a lot of great lighting, moody colours and great editing and camera shots were used in the music sequences where each scene moving along with the same amount of aggression or style as the jazz itself. Oh and the music, dear god, the music. I’m a big fan of jazz music, I believe it is one of the most universal forms of music to get down with and enjoy and this film has all of the right sounds. The music is perfection with all those gorgeous horns, pianos, percussion and everything, from the small sessions to be big performances, it was the best thing ever.
In conclusion Whiplash was amazing. I wasn’t sure if it would meet the hype after all of the time I spent reading reviews and hearing people go on about, but I guess seeing is believing. The story was great, the two lead performances were astonishing and the soundtrack was perfect. I cannot recommend this film enough, it is awesome. End of.
Rating: 10/10 (Yeah a perfect rating, haven’t given one of those out in a long time)
So have you seen Whiplash (and let’s be honest everyone ha at this point) and if so what did you think of it? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to drop them in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the nest review. Laters! 😀