WHIPLASH (Sundance Film Festival Park City, Utah USA 2014)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.8|5.0 Stars ìììì

Whiplash provides a disturbingly gruesome interpretation of creation of musical genius when a harsh, domineering jazz teacher develops a teaching interest in a hard-working, willing-to-sacrifice-everything protégé drummer. This film goes beyond necessary hard work, effort, and perseverance into the realm of devilish persecution coupled with self-mortification/mutilation to produce the final product. While Andrew’s (Miles Teller) ambition is completely understandable, it seems that this movie's portrayal of 'the climb’ to superb musical performance relies on a disturbingly sadistic theme. It is one thing to have a driven student and quite another to have a persecuting teacher, Fletcher (J.K. Simmons), yelling, throwing chairs, and physically abusing a student to do better. A student with this kind of drive does not need to be ‘abused,’ because they will internally criticize themselves to achieve their personal ideal of perfection. If internal criticism is coupled with external abuse, the result could be disastrous. In this movie there is a good ending for Andrew, but this is a movie—a story. For most driven students, it seems incongruous that the conclusion of the film is a legitimate final result. This film seems to send an incorrect message for achieving greatness in the musical world or in any other competitive endeavor.


Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Damien Chazelle for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Jeanette Volturno-Brill, Cooper Samuelson, Gary Michael, and Jason Reitman for making the film possible. Additional character/cast include: Jim Neimann (Paul Reiser), Uncle Frank (Chris Mulkey), Nicole (Melissa Benoist), Aunt Emma (Suanne Spoke), and Mr. Kramer (Damon Gupton).



Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes.

Ben Meyers

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