Whiplash review

Whiplash PosterGenre: Drama, Music.
Starring: Miles Teller, J. K. Simmons, Paul Reiser, Melissa Benoist, Austin Stowell, Nate Lang, Chris Mulkey, Jayson Blair, Kavita Patil, Michael Cohen, Kofi Siriboe, Suanne Spoke, April Grace.
Year Of Release: 2015 (UK)
Certificate: 15 (UK)
Runtime: 106 Minutes
Director: Damien Chazelle
Synopsis: “A promising young drummer enrolls at a cut-throat music conservatory where his dreams of greatness are mentored by an instructor who will stop at nothing to realize a student’s potential.” IMDB

When I seen the trailers for this I wasn’t very excited, actually I didn’t have any intentions to watch it until it maybe appeared on Netflix or maybe normal television. After being beatdown by my brother for months and my twitter followers constantly recommending it. I gave in last week. Here are my thoughts on it.

Where else to start with this film but the acting, I mean WOW! This was my first time seeing Miles Teller act, and I was blown away by such a performance from somebody I always assumed was going to be another member of the 20s comedy crop, very happy I was wrong. As student Andrew Neiman, Teller was able to showcase a complete range of his ability, be it giddy and flirty with the incredible Nicole (Melissa Benoist) to gut wrenchingly fighting for his place the band. Then we have a performance by everybody’s favourite Spider-Man character J Jonah Jameson, J K Simmons who played Jazz instructor Terence Fletcher, I say “played” he really became him, another unfathomable performance, very easy to see why he won the Academy Award plus about 40 others for it. For me Fletcher is one of the scariest movie villains of all time, some of the scenes are so intense by Simmons you find yourself exhaling like you’re on the receiving end of his tirades of mental and verbal abuse.
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The use of cinematography in this film was superb, it really gives the viewer a look into the gritty world of music schools, really showcases the battle students go through to become the best they can be.

You may be like me and struggle to comprehend how a film about drumming can really be that entertaining, because personally it was my main struggle with the film I have zero investment in the playing of drums (or any instrument for that matter). That being said you will you still hopefully thoroughly enjoy the film like I did, while at times the drumming can seem repetitive you are still drawn in by the majesty of the talent it takes to play that way and to have the ability to play that long without your hands falling off ha. The movie gave me a new appreciation of the dedication music students have to becoming the very best in their given field, if they are a tenth as dedicated as Andrew comes across then they will go far banging those drums maybe, heck what do I know I’m a movie blogger!

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This is the first I have finished a film and felt physically drained and emotionally beaten and I have seen 1,500+ films. The film beat me down so much after it I had to sleep off the after effects, it was more than just an emotional thrill ride it was incredibly relatable if you look at it as a boy trying to make his Dad proud and show him what he can do (Fletcher also being used as the Dad in this analogy). After the film ended I spent a good few hours just thinking about how near perfect this film was, I thought it was post film high, so I gave it a few days to let it sink in before writing my review. However, allowing the time to pass, didn’t change my view of this film is a modern masterpiece, well not just a modern masterpiece, it is just a masterpiece itself. Easily in my top 5 of this year, will take a lot to knock it anywhere near out of that list.

After just speaking about the emotional beatdown this film laid on me, I knew I had to touch on the pacing. This is one of the most wonderfully paced films I have watched in a long time, people say “emotional rollercoaster” a lot when it comes to these kinds of films. This time it is the most appropriate use of the phrasing I could think of, from the ultimate strain on you not to break like Andrew, to laughs given by director Damien Chazelle, you will be left with just an unbelievable feeling afterwards.

Overall, I was completely blown away by this movie, it was countless times better than I could ever expect. Damien Chazelle has thrown his name into the big leagues with this movie, I am not usually a lover of the medium of films about musicians, this may have made me do a complete 180 and will be looking back on such films I may have missed, not that ANY could ever compare I do not imagine. From the get go the film is entertaining, filled with all turns and twists on the emotional roller coaster, this film really is with an ending that will have you tenser than you could ever believe a movie would make you feel. The ONLY reason I didn’t give this film a 10 was the ending, while amazing was a bit abrupt, I would have liked to have seen a little more from it, I understand the reasoning behind it, I just personally would have liked to see Andrew get the plaudits he truly deserved. I find it a little heartbreaking I didn’t get to see this masterpiece on the big screen with like minded individuals, hopefully I will get to one day.

9.5/10

Chris "The Boss" Wilson

Chris is a self confessed movie junkie, his favourite film is A Nightmare On Elm Street, yes the 84 version obviously!

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