Monday, February 9

Whiplash

A movie recently hasn’t left me completely flabbergasted as Whiplash did. While I am jumping in the bandwagon of praising the film, there is complete merit to it. The moment the screen reveals Andrew Neiman practicing drums and encounters Terrence Fletcher, you know you’re in for something captivating.

The beauty of the film rests in the actors and the characters they are portraying. Andrew Neiman is a student at Shaffer, aspiring to be one of the greatest jazz drummers in the world. His dream is to be able to play as a core member in the Lincoln Center, as well as to be recognized for his talent and ability. He has determination, passion and drive to be able to achieve his dream, and many scenes would contest to that. His skills were able to transfer him to the tutelage of Terrence Fletcher, a renounced instructor that only brings the best on board. 

Now Terrence Fletcher is the man to bow down to. His methods are so horrendous that an aspiring great musician cannot help but to fear and respect the man. He commands perfection to each of his students, fearless to throw anyone who he deems is unworthy of his tutelage. He easily changes personalities that he is like a parasite growing on you. He feeds on your ambition, your life, your simple stories, and uses all of that in the worst possible way. He does not care for what you do, he only cares that he achieves perfection in the pieces he instructs. He is the kind of mentor one would want if one would be driven to bring out everything in his potential. Mentors like him aren’t a rare breed; there has to be an instance where you’ve run into someone who’s a mild version of this character, someone who pushes for perfection and does not settle for mediocrity. In fact, aside from one very cold, cunning scene, his way and method isn’t what was terrifying; it was the results he was getting from Andrew. 

Miles Teller was fantastic. He is walking out of this movie as an unsung actor for his ability. The way he portrays his character is spot on, but keeps the Miles Teller charm that’s usually present in his other movies. He was able to convey emotions that were both driven with determination and frustration at the same time. His character goes through hell that it’s scary to watch where his determination would lead him to. Yet there’s this factor of his character that you have to respect because of his passion for his art, even if he is at the wrong. With Teller doing work like this, I have no idea why he’s offsetting his filmography with awful movies. He releases at least one mediocre-to-horrible movie along with a film that showcases his talents. 

J.K. Simmons, is a different story. His performance is so powerful that he and Teller compliment each other. There is a reason for him to be driven to perform his best because Simmons is there bellowing it out. He was a natural! His portrayal of the character was captivating that you end up fearing for Andrew. J.K. Simmons is a wonderful actor, and he manages to command the attention of the room with his work. He brings out what he can from his character and does tremendous work with it. 

Whiplash manages to captivate audiences the moment the film starts, and holds that attention until the final acts. It was a character driven performance that could not be pulled off without the precise actions and direction that the film was going for. Damien Chazelle does great with his screenplay and direction, presenting an astonishing film to show for his efforts.



Final Word: Astounding film! 

Cast: Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons, Melissa Benoist
Director: Damien Chazelle
Year: 2014

9 comments:

  1. Great review! The trailer didn't sell this for me at all, but after watching some of the clips during the BAFTAs last night, I now really want to see it!
    - Allie

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    1. I wasn't certain about this movie before, but the rave reviews kept coming in so I decided to see it myself. It certainly did not disappoint. I hope you get to see it some time!

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  2. I need this movie in my life so badly. Excellent review. The complete gushing over this film has me so ready for the experience of it all. I can't wait!

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    1. This was a wonderful film. I hope you get to see it soon!

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  3. Excellent review! I loved this so much. It just succeeded all around.

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    1. Thank you! Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons both had splendid performances, and it had the great momentum towards the end.

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  4. Great review! Whiplash is one of my faves for 2014 and pretty much 2015 too. Such a captivating and unforgettable film by everyone involved.

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    1. Whiplash really was wonderful! Glad you liked the film too!

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  5. Lights Camera ReactionMarch 19, 2015 at 8:19 PM

    Great review!! This is a film that resonates on every single level and every moment counts. If writer/director Damien Chazelle was striving for greatness as much as his protagonist, then he has achieved it.

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