By Dean Kim (Whitby, Canada)
Whiplash is a film starring J.K Simmons as Terrance Fletcher and Miles Teller as Andrew and this movie is about Andrew, the first year music student who is in the best music school in the country with big hopes and dreams. Andrew gets noticed by Terrance Fletcher who is teaching a class who are obviously filled with advanced musicians. Terrance Fletcher pushes the students hard to do better, he is a perfectionist who will accept nothing but the best, and when his students fails to do so he gets very aggressive. At this point he does not even look like he is pushing students he is just forcing them brutally.
Andrew wants to be the best he has big dreams, he is passionate about drumming and he is willing to give up everything to be better to be accepted by Terrance Fletcher. Terrance Fletcher treats Andrew with brutal methods, but that does not stop Andrew from trying harder. However Terrance Fletcher’s harsh method of teaching brings conflict.
I loved this film; it was absolutely amazing, every moment of this movie I could not take my eyes off the screen. I did not know Jazz music and musicians could be this intense and it is all possible because of the spectacular performance by Miles Teller and J.K Simmons. These actors truly played their characters amazingly. There were very intense moments where J.K Simmons was yelling at Miles Teller, and you could see the intensity that was created by the fury that was expressed from J.K Simmons and fear from Miles Teller. These actors performance made these moments work. Whenever J.K Simmons was yelling I felt his anger, and whenever Miles Teller was practicing until his fingers were bleeding, I felt his pain and desperation to get better.
Miles Teller shows so much love and passion towards drumming it makes the audience cheer for him, the audience wants Andrew to be successful and be a great drummer. Nothing ever lets this guy give up from drumming whenever his distant family is picking on him since he is only a musician, and that is hard for him since no one in the family really understands what he feels when he is playing his drums. However he keeps his head up and practices what he loves to do. That makes a very likable character for the audience.
J.K Simmons plays a great antagonist, even though he is only trying to help and push students, most will agree that his methods are wrong and too harsh. However, those characteristics make him a great antagonist, he is scary, intimidating, and whenever he stopped the music the entire band held their breath because of fear, even I held my breath.
The ending, I think it was a great one. The tension and emotions leading up to that climatic moment, the unspoken emotional connection all those elements made the ending so great. I personally enjoyed some of the shots by the director, the things he focused on, all the sweat and blood on drums. I thought those shots really added on to creating intensity and connections to characters.
This is definitely a movie to checkout great acting, great story, great music and great directing. I’m going to give this movie the highest rating I can give 10/10.