Under the direction of a ruthless instructor, a talented young drummer begins to pursue perfection at any cost, even his humanity.
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I've played guitar for 22 years, bass for about 19 years and drums for less than three. I'm pretty good at guitar and bass and intensely average on drums but this is probably because I have only ever viewed these instruments as fun. I never intended to set out to be the best there is, was or ever will be; I play them because I enjoy it and I can express myself through the strings and sticks. In this respect, I'm in the vast majority of players. Genius doesn't think like that. Geniuses are born with that certain something and then devote themselves to an eternity of practice, rudiments, blood, sweat and tears to get to where they want to be and then improve on that. Andrew Neiman (Miles Teller) is one such prodigy; a gifted young jazz drummer who has won a place at the esteemed Schaffer Music School and it is here that he meets Fletcher. Imagine if R. Lee Ermey's drill sergeant from Full Metal Jacket was taking tips from The Thick Of It's Malcolm Tucker in the art of personal relations and then give him sheet music and the role of band conductor. That's Fletcher, a truly hateful character but one whom you buy into completely thanks to the performance of the always majestic J.K. Simmons and the fact that despite his monstrousness, one can see what he's doing. His plan is to wring every last drop of sweat and blood out of his musicians so that they may be the next Charlie Parker. He just chooses to do so through intimidation and terrific insults. He's happy to be the bad guy if it makes the good guy great. This is where the film succeeds so completely, in the at-times unbearably tense relationship between two men who want the same thing: perfection. Whiplash doesn't get everything right. There's a love story that feels as unnecessary as it is light and I do wonder if non musicians will get the same out of this film as players will because if you're a musician (and especially if you're a drummer), this film is practically porn. Teller is clearly a gifted drummer because as far as I could tell, what you see and hear are the same; the people on screen are really playing and it's spellbinding. That said, I think it's a film that will get past any concerns about it being niche due to the ferocity of the performances. You certainly don't have to like jazz and I hope you don't have to be a musician to appreciate fully this dramatic, tense and utterly terrific film. 9/10
Whiplash is one of the most intense movie I've seen of all time, the film is very well acted and written and directed, the two main actors are great and the music is really good, one of the main themes of the film is that negative reinforcement is a good thing and the film leaves many things to interpretation to whatever that a good thing or not, the music post production syncs with the music played in the movie a lot, well there are times where the music doesn't sync with the music in the movie, the third act is very intense and one of the best third acts i ever seen, J. K. Simmons character motivation is left interpretation it's not clear whatever he cares miles tellers character or not, overall the movie is a very intense and it's funny and the music is really good.
This movie is nothing but a breath-taking/magnificent master piece. I actually decided to belong to the jazz circle in my uni because of this movie. The most amazing thing to me is that the drummer (the hero) plays drums by himself; no CG. Even that there is the scene that the drummer bleeds from his hands and this is his real blood! What I want to say is that how devoting this actor is. I have never been bleeding from my hand practicing music. But this actor did and his drumming skills are literally breath-taking!
The film is probably best enjoyed by musicians or jazz enthusiasts. This is an acquired taste. There is no denying JK Simmons gave an Oscar-winning performance, and yes, the editing was Oscar-worthy as well. But for most parts of the film I can't say it was a pleasure watching this. I can still enjoy a bad horror B-movie, but certainly not this. I did not agree with Fletcher's teaching methods, as it was total abuse. This movie should be used as educational material for methods teachers should NOT use. It was disgusting - to say the least - how he treated and spoke to the youngsters. In fact, so much so it should be considered a crime. There was not a single moment of the film I enjoyed. On the contrary, this horrible movie is one of the most hated films I've ever seen. Why has it been voted one of the best films ever??? Note: I rated the film 1/10 not because it is a badly made movie. It's a very well made movie, but I just did not enjoy it at all, hence the low rating.