Whiplash at first glance comes across as a musical induced drama, but just moments into the film, that notion is thrown all over the place. Damien Chazelle has created something less unexplainable, but more experienceable. Being autobiographic, this movie is a journey through the intensity of artistry ambition, that’s riveting, not just musically, or physically, but also emotionally and psychologically.
Chazelle creates an interesting amalgamation of a musical core drama with the grit of a sports inspirational biopic. Seemingly something that’s not really done before, but Chazelle nails it. When Andrew Neiman (Miles Teller), is haunted by his dream of being remembered as a great drummer, the obscure catalyst to that dream is the unapologetically brutish professor Terrence Fletcher (J.K. Simmons). Simmons’ performance checks every possible accolade-worthy trait that there is. We embark on this journey with Neiman, sharing everything that he emotes realising what it takes to get where one could dream to get.
The cinematography has us view Neiman’s world, from Neiman’s perspective. The music is world class, to put it as simply as I can. The elegance and allure of Jazz, is given all the more respect when we get to watching the building blocks that struggle to take their place in what could inevitably be a quality song. The movie isn’t about a plot, or a story even. This movie is meant to hit you right where you’re able to feel it. As simple as that. No one’s expecting you to enjoy the musicality of it either, although you invariably will. The ending of the movie is just a perfect testimony to that intent. Melissa Benoist has a small role of playing Neiman’s social life, just to help us understand how sacrifices are meant to be made so indifferently to attain what you want.
This movie is reported to have been shot in 19 days, working 14 hours everyday. Which somehow glazes the movie with more colour in the form of respect. All in all, Whiplash is an experience worth all the praise it has received. Sit back and enjoy the movie (That’s until of course, Simmons’ character puts you right at the edge of your seat)
Anuj is a musician and writer who moonlights as an engineer. Being a massive movie/TV show enthusiast, if only he could get could paid for watching anything and everything. This Hogwarts alumnus is one with the Force, and the Force is one with him.