Thursday, 22 January 2015

Whiplash (2015)

Title:                                   Whiplash (15)
Release Date (UK):            16th January 2015
Director:                             Damien Chazelle
Starring:                             Miles Teller, J.K.
                                            Simmons, Melissa
Duration Time:                  107 minutes

Andrew Nieman (Miles Teller) wants nothing more than to be the greatest jazz drummer the world ever did see. He is a first year student at Shaffer Conservatory of Music, otherwise known as the best music school in the USA. However, being a student at this school means being taught by Terence Fletcher (J.K. Simmons) who does not hold back when it comes to abuse towards his students. He is determined to push every single student to achieve what is beyond their limits, as he doesn't see the point in being average. What is the point in being average when you can be the best you possibly can be? When Andrew is asked to join Fletcher's band, he is taken by surprise. By being part of this band, Andrew quickly learns that Terence never settles for anything less than the best and he pushes and pushes and pushes. Regardless of the abuse he receives from Terence, Andrew is determined to be the best and never gives up. He practices and practices until he physically bleeds and sweats to death. He meets a girl who he takes a liking to, Nicole (Melissa Benoist), but the relationship doesn't last long when Andrew believes Nicole will hold him back and he will never be able to be the best jazz drummer in the world. After showing up late to a competition and forgetting his drum sticks, Andrew is walking on a thin line and eventually loses it and launches himself at Terrence. This results in him being expelled from Shaffer. He is approached by a lawyer who encourages him to speak up about his experience as Fletcher's student. He does so, which results in Fletcher losing his job at Shaffer. A while later, Andrew watches Terrence play one night and after being spotted by Terrence, is invited to play at an upcoming festival with the same songs he learned at Shaffer. However, Terrence finds out it was Andrew who was the cause of him being kicked out of Shaffer and he deliberately adds another song into the setlist at the festival knowing Andrew does not know the song and will humiliate himself in front of a critical audience. Andrew wishes to prove Terrence wrong and plays over Terrence with a solo and cues the rest of the band in for the song which he does know.

My Review
"Whiplash" came under one of my most highly anticipated movies of 2015, and it did not let me down one single bit. The relationship between Andrew and his petrifying instructor created great euphoria inside me. I loved the intensity of both the drumming and the relationship we see between Terrence and Andrew from very early on in the film and after finding out that Miles Teller did all of the drumming himself in this movie, I am 110% impressed. I also love that this film, while centring around a jazz band, focuses purely on the art that is drumming as I feel drumming is a musical talent that is highly under appreciated. 

This is the first piece of work of director Damien Chazelle (this being his second feature film) that I have seen and he did absolutely bloody amazing! He created such a tense relationship between Teller and Simmons all while creating a humorous tone as well, with such snappy and sarcastic lines given to Simmons

Now, anybody who knows me will know that I am insanely in love with Miles Teller and I have seen every movie that he has had a major role in so when I heard he was starring in "Whiplash" I was excited beyond belief. I was excited even more when I read up on the plot and the character he would be playing. J.K. Simmons is absolutely fantastic in his role of Terrence Fletcher and the on screen chemistry that Simmons and Teller show is brilliant. 

I found parts of the film to be very tense as there is emphasis on Andrew Nieman's dedication towards drumming, shown through the blood and sweat we see on screen. One thing I found particularly off putting was the amount of swearing there were at times, but that's possibly just a personal issue as I'm not a huge fan of swearing especially when it comes to films. 

Overall, I give this film a 5/5 rating.

Chloe x

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