Whiplash Review: Keeping the Beat

If you see one movie in the usually disastrous January, see Whiplash. Smooth from start to finish, it’s so much more than the story of a great drummer. It’s warm and inspirational- a tale that never makes you forget each characters determination and passion.

Andrew (Miles Teller) is an aspiring jazz drummer in a prestigious music school. He leads a quiet life; his time spent either watching movies with his father (Paul Reiser) or practicing his technique. Idolizing the great Buddy Rich, Andrew’s wish is to one day join the ranks of the elite drummers in history.

He is eventually called up to be in the schools studio band, but finds it much more daunting of a task due to the extreme motivational techniques of the school’s most respected professor, Fletcher (J.K. Simmons).

The film that came from a 2013 short is both written and directed beautifully by Damien Chazelle. All of Andrew’s hardships, sacrifices and trials are well documented and resonate perfectly with the audience. By the end you’ll want to give a standing ovation and maybe shed a tear or two.

The acting is superb. Teller plays the timid hero Andrew to a “t” and Simmon’s as Fletcher is an immaculate prick. The two have great chemistry that feeds off of each other.

A great side note: Teller who has played drums since he was 15 did all of the drumming for Whiplash- taking additional time for practice and lessons to prepare for the role.

Speaking of drumming, the score and musical scenes are incredible. Every emotion in the ensemble’s notes can be felt. The intensity and raw energy of Andrew’s playing is spot on.

Whiplash neither rushes nor drags throughout its 107 minutes. With a fantastic cast and an incredible story, Whiplash is one of the most inspirational films of all time. This is a movie for anyone who has been pushed around or told that they can’t do something because Whiplash’s moral is simple: prove everyone wrong.

About Chris Butera 135 Articles
Chris Butera has been absorbed in Heavy Metal since he was 15 years old. He has been playing in bands since 2006 and has interned for extreme music label Earache Records, while writing for Reviewfix.com since its inception and more recently for Examiner.com. When he isn’t doing anything music related he’s probably reading comics or classic books, watching a horror movie or a wrestling match, or pretending to be a dinosaur.

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