Whiplash – Movie Talk

So I saw Whiplash last night. It was this movie about a drummer who drums and a teacher who teaches him. It was good.

This movie was incredible!!! I loved it so much. Don’t listen to what I wrote above, it is so much more than that. Read below!

Whiplash is actually about a really talented drummer played my Miles Teller who goes to one of the best music schools in the country and essentially wants to be the best. I can relate. I think everyone can in some way. But oh my god I could not go through what this kid did. My props to him.

Playing violin and basketball, I’ve had teachers and coaches try to make me better in ways I didn’t like. I’d get chewed out in practices but I didnt get chairs thrown at me or get mentally and emotionally abused so violently. Whether or not it helps or not is a big question in this movie.

So many of the scenes when Teller’s character Andrew is playing become so intense that you want to cringe and look away but he just grabs your attention and makes you suffer with him, or at the very least understand his. Credit is certainly due to Damien Chazelle’s direction. There are many quick cuts and close ups of the drums and Andrew that makes it so personal against the sounds of drums and the fearful anticipation of what his instructor is going to do to him.

His teacher is played by JK Simmons who is a well respected teacher but notorious for his intense way of conducting his band. He instills fear into each of his students, none can mutter more than a few words him or keep eye contact. What made his performance and character so amazing was his unpredictability and menace. The movie literally relies on Simmons to be perfect. The movie is about a aspiring drummer being pushed to his limits. If you don’t have an actor to portray that essential character you have a much less effective movie.

The back and forth between the two stars is also terrifically done. It starts with Simmons pushing his student as far as he can go but never seems to be satisfied with his performance. This leads to Andrew becoming frustrated because he’s not perfect or getting a chance to that he fights back. There were scenes where I forgot they were teacher and student and thought they were not far at all from killing one another. They might have been.

One scene seemed a bit unnecessary in the story when they could have gotten their point across in a more believable way. This of course is a minor complaint because the next scenes are brilliant and make a near perfect film.

JK Simmons is a lock for the supporting actor Oscar, I think there’s a chance for best adapted screenplay, and as for best picture, not happening but would be welcomed.

Well there’s my first “review”. I hesitate to call it a review, preferring to label it as me talking about a movie; what I liked, what I didn’t, and overall impression. Anyway I enjoyed writing about Whiplash and can’t wait for my next Movie Talk!

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