Ashdoc's movie review---Whiplash

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Ashdoc's movie review---Whiplash

Post by ashdoc on Sun Mar 08, 2015 4:00 pm

Whiplash is about the blood sweat toil and tears that go into the making of a creative genius---a great drummer of jazz music . And the movie shows the blood literally flowing in several scenes of the movie ; ditto for the sweat---the hero practices drumming till he is drenched in sweat...and the tears are an integral part of the film , for the hero breaks down like we all do when we try hard yet fail...

19 year old Andrew Nieman ( played by Miles Teller ) is different from others of his age ; while his peers boast about their academic success as evidenced by their school grades , he talks about his achievements in the art of playing drums....While others have more stable family backgrounds , his mother has abandoned him and his father in childhood---maybe that's what makes him different....
His passion for his art is such that he tells his girlfriend to break off with him because she is a distraction which will work to break his concentration and prevent him from reaching the top....

Nieman's father supports him all the way , and he gets enrolled in the Shaffer conservatory of music . And his skills get noticed by the head of the school band Terrence Fletcher ( played by J.K. Simmons ) . But Fletcher has unconventional ways of getting the best out of his students , and surviving his methods is as difficult as reaching the pinnacle of creativity....

.....For Fletcher has perfected the art of abusing and screaming and even throwing an object or two at his pupils to make them try harder . The moment he enters the room , electric tension grips the air....the students are dead silent with their eyes looking firmly downwards ; eye contact with the indomitable Fletcher is out of question . 

It is difficult to decide who has acted better---the teacher or the pupil . Miles Teller really plays the drums like a fantastic drum player would do , especially towards the end....he is not just an actor chosen for his good looks , but capable of really playing the drums like a professional....
J K Simmons has formidable screen presence , and that is accentuated by the camera focusing on his face repeatedly . When he doesn't like something any of his pupils is doing ( which is quite often ) , his voice cracks like whip to lash the offending student till he is left in tears ; the movie really lives upto it's name....

So can Nieman reach the pinnacle of creative genius and become a renowned drummer ?? Can he survive in the tough competitive world where other drummers are kept ready by Fletcher to pounce upon his place in the band the moment he makes a mistake ?? Does he have the temperament to withstand the force of the personality of Fletcher ; a personality that other pupils have failed to cope up with , causing life shaking consequences ??
Watch the movie for the answers....

The movie does not follow the predictable path of the student gradually impressing the teacher , but rather has surprises in store for us as it moves forward with twists and turns that make it unpredictable . And I sat in rapt attention watching every scene unfold....
Music is good , as it should be for a movie whose storyline is based on music . 

Verdict---Formidable .
4 stars .

ashdoc

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