Whiplash – Dale Maxfield
Whiplash – R
Release Date: Wed 15 Oct 2014
Whiplash is a masterpiece, blending the intense performances of stars Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons with an equally intense musical language of jazz drumming. The score and the story are one and the same. The stamina, and almost self-destructive competitive ferocity is amazing to watch.
Andrew (Teller) is out to prove to his peers, his teacher (Simmons) and ultimately himself that he is one of the greats. He has a few moments where we see a softer side, including some early scenes with his father (Paul Reiser) and a girl he starts dating (Melissa Benoist.) But after Fletcher begins to systematically push everything else aside and make him focus entirely on meeting impossible standards, Andrew himself no longer takes no for an answer – even from his own body.
I played drums in high school and know the hard work and dedication it takes to become a truly great jazz drummer. It also rings true that everyone has someone in their life who pushed them harder than they thought they could go. They become that voice in your head that tells you to push harder, the voice of the side of yourself that is never truly satisfied with less.
Whiplash is an incredible movie. The acting, music and film-making blend so perfectly it feels like a unified experience. I wanted to see Andrew succeed, and I wanted to see Fletcher (by extension) succeed as well at making Andrew the best.
Aaron and I saw it in the theater and had a discussion afterward in the car: