WHIPLASH (2014 SFF Park City Utah USA)

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 I understand the drive behind Andrew’s (Miles Teller) ambition, I’m uncertain that this movie accurately portrays ‘the climb’ to superb musical performance accurately. There’s a sadistic theme that runs through the movie that is quite disturbing. 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 usually need to be ‘abused,’ because they will internally criticize themselves to achieve their personal ideal of perfection. If internal abuse 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 I do not believe this is a legitimate final result. I believe this movie sent the wrong 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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