Okay, when I first heard about this movie… I wasn’t exactly sure what it was. I wanted to watch the trailer but I kept putting it off because I really didn’t want to waste my time on a two-minute plus clip of a movie that I might never be interested in. Fortunately for me, not watching the trailer actually piqued my curiosity. So, I finally took this long holiday weekend to give Whiplash a shot.
Whiplash is a film about a first-year jazz student, Andrew Neiman (Miles Teller), at the prestigious Shaffer Conservatory in New York. Since he was young, he started playing drums and aspired to be one of the greats, alongside Buddy Rich. His opportunity arrives when he is given a shot at joining the studio band, led by the verbally abusive Conductor Terrence Fletcher (J.K. Simmons).
Despite having a simple story line, Whiplash is able to keep the audience glued to the screen and rooting for Andrew. The experience Andrew goes through just to prove that he should be a core member of the band, was one I couldn’t bear to watch. Each time he bled as he practiced his drumming, I felt myself wincing and squinting to stop myself from seeing the wound he had. The film had me hating Fletcher each time he appeared, like he was the evil villain that Andrew the Hero had to defeat. I just kept thinking, ‘What’s up with this dude!?’. It was easy to deduce that Fletcher’s mean, verbally abusive behavior with his students was his way of pushing them to beyond their limits where they can be greater than what they expect to be. I thought that it was a nice touch to have the scene where he explains himself to Andrew on why he is so tough on them (despite knowing that Andrew was the reason he no longer worked at Shaffer). I felt that Fletcher actually sorta gave Andrew advice – You want it, you take it. You don’t care what others do to you so long as you know that’s what you want. Nothing is going to stop you from reaching your goal.
That’s what Andrew remembered. Even after being embarrassed big time on stage, he picks himself up and shows Fletcher that he is more than just someone who loves drumming. He lived and breathed drumming.
I felt that as a film, it is pretty inspiring. We all have our moments when we feel discouraged and let that feeling take over us; eventually forsaking that path and going on another safer path of life. We all have dreams and passion that we wanna pursue but how many of us can say that we would continue dreaming even when we are told we will never get there? Whiplash reminded me that if I really love doing something, I should just continue to do it. No one can discourage another from their passion, but themselves.
Whiplash is a truly inspiring and extraordinary film with remarkable performance from Miles and J.K. that will render you speechless and in awe.