No matter who you are, this movie will hit you - like a bag of bricks, on the face, like five times. This film is deserving of much praise for its outstanding execution in every area. Miles Teller who plays Andrew Neiman reaches what appears to be his acting threshold and then proceeds to rise higher and higher above it. Now, let’s not forget the unbelievable performance by the incredible J.K Simmons who plays terrifying, don’t-wanna-mess-with, possibly psychotic, Terence Fletcher! There’s a reason J.K Simmons won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for this role, and this reason runs for 1 hour and 47 minutes. This film definitely sets the standard.
In this film, Andrew Neiman is a talented Jazz drummer aspiring to be the best. In order to be the best, you need to be trained by one of the best, Terence Fletcher. Unfortunately, this comes at a cost. An emotionally distressing, physically damaging, and life-changing cost. Neiman finds himself faced with his greatest challenge yet and we witness every teary, bloody, and sweaty moment.
Something that particularly impressed me about this film was the flawless presentation. The minor details easily become impactful. A sweat drop slowly gliding down a persons face, the utter silence exploding with suspense, the slow formation of a smile, etc. The camera focuses on the details and makes them big, powerful, moments. Damien Chazelle (the director and writer), hats off to you for your remarkable work on Whiplash!
This film carries the gift to induce an array of emotions within its audience. The journey this film will take you on isn’t a simple one, as it appears, but it’s actually an emotionally complex one. If you watch and listen closely, you’ll realize that this film isn’t just about a drummer boy trying to be a great drummer that happens to have a “mean” instructor. No. This film is about...life.