Andrew (Teller) is an aspiring jazz student at a well respected music college in New York. Desperate to be the best at his craft,he manages to catch the eye of legendary conductor Terrence Fletcher (Simmons) – and lands a much coveted place in the school jazz band as a stand in drummer.
From the above plot description you would think that this isn’t the most original story and probably sounds alot like something out of High School Musical or Glee. Putting it mildly – nothing could be further from the truth.
Now most films that i watch these days are ether good, average or crap, and in an age of endless remakes, sequels and Michael Bay directed nonsense, it is a complete rarity for me to emerge from a cinema and immediately declare that i have just seen a film so astounding that it immediately goes into my top 50 favorites of all time.
Well Whiplash qualifies – in spades.
For a start, Damien Chazelle’s direction is superb, mercifully unpretentious and his script is one of the best you will ever bear witness to.
However, this would be for naught had it not been for the brilliance of the two central performances. JK Simmons is frankly amazing as Fletcher, a muscular, shaven headed monster of a man who thinks nothing of throwing everything from instruments to rage fueled insults at any member of his band who dares play a note out of key or cant keep up with his exacting levels of musical perfection.
Then there is Miles Teller, who excels as Andrew, initially coming across as just a shy loner but quickly emerging as an almost sociopathic, sometimes dislikeable individual with a maniacal obsession at being the next great jazz drummer.
I could go on , but to to say anymore would spoil the experience for anyone planning to see it.
So I will conclude with just this – Never in my movie going life would i have thought that i would see a film about Jazz music that was not just incredibly acted, written and directed but was exciting and relentlessly entertaining, had me on the edge of my seat and wishing for more.
A stunning film, destined to be a classic and deserving of every single award it is nominated for.
Author: Will Strong