I went into the viewing of Whiplash with some trepidation. I must admit, that up to a week ago I had never heard of it. Very unusual for me, considering I am on IMDB everyday and like to keep up with all thing film and television. Especially if, as was the case with this, it is causing a buzz. Trepidation.
Whiplash tells the story of Andrew, a young up and coming drummer, enrolled in a prestigious music school, believes his luck is in when the most respected teacher in the school invites him to join his elite class. What follows is a battle of wills and test of resolve.
Written and directed by Damien Chazelle, Whiplash is a remarkable feat of a film both visually and aurally. The pace is perfect, no unnecessary scenes or stuff left in too show off. Every scene moves the film forward or reveals something about a character. As the music is jazz, the look is, even in the school, mildly jazz bar; cool, orangey hues and shadows, no wild colours.
Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons play student and teacher respectively. Both are perfectly cast. Teller as the drum obsessed, leaning toward autistic, student Andrew and Simmons, departing so far from the comedic roles he is better known for, to deliver a career best performance as the bullying, relentless Fletcher.
This is, in my opinion, a brilliant film. It lives up to all its hype, delivering on every level. It is difficult to contain my excitement for this film. I cannot recommend it highly enough, in fact I did recommend it to a friend and told her I would refund her if she did not like the film!
This is the best film I have seen in a very long time. 2014 was a good year for films, but if the bar for 2015 starts with Whiplash, this could be an exceptional year.