Whiplash

Review: Whiplash

17 Nov 14

Whiplash

Damien Chazelle's Sundance award-winning Whiplash is an intoxicating, provocative drama. Ambitious 19-year-old jazz drummer Andrew Neyman wants to be great. The next Buddy Rich. He enrolls at the prestigious Shaffer Conservatory, mentored by ruthless music instructor Terence Fletcher. Fletcher uses dehumanizing methods of physical and psychological cruelty to motivate his student. Andrew must sacrifice his humanity to achieve perfection. Fletcher's classroom is incredibly intense and claustrophobic, filming close-ups of crashing blood-and-sweat-covered cymbals and Andrew's bleeding, blistered hands. Miles Teller, one of the great young actors of this generation, is extraordinary as Andrew Neyman. J.K. Simmons' brilliant and terrifying performance as Terence Fletcher deserves the Oscar. Despite some implausible moments, Whiplash's jaw-dropping finale blew me away. One of the year's best films.
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