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Whiplash
Genre Music
 
Review:

Whiplash is an intense music drama about a promising young drummer, who enrolls at a music academy where he's pushed to breaking point by a tough instructor. This is a film from writer/director Damien Chazelle, who has established his name with this dark stick of dynamite and its trail of awards.

This is an intense, powerful and passionate music drama about sacrifice and the quest for perfection. We're entertained by a young drummer's rise from obscurity and trial by fire, in which he must listen to his conductor bark orders and push him to breaking point much like R. Lee Ermey did in Full Metal Jacket.

The film revolves around the fractious chemistry between Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons. It's a clash of personalities, with a psychological war between two hard-headed characters whose teacher-student relational dynamic would've worked in almost any genre.

J.K. Simmons owns an intimidating, tremendous and psychotic Oscar-worthy performance that embodies the intensity of this explosive little indie drama. While Miles Teller makes a convincing, determined and malleable young student, who apparently did most of the drumming. Together they light up the screen like a David and Goliath.

The story's intensity and the characters resilience and die hard attitudes make this an exhilarating experience, but a fairly anonymous one with our co-leads thick-skinned to the point that you never really feel as though you transcend their armour-plated souls.

Damien Chazelle shows precision with his directing, carving out raw, impassioned performances and a focused study of humanity's innate desire to go higher, faster and further. The music is just as controlled to create the picture of musical perfection and adding rich, layered emotional contrast to the crude, personal barbs.

Whiplash isn't for sensitive viewers. It packs a punch with its dark, relentless and driving attitude... entertaining us with pitch perfect jazz and terrific performances that reflect the film's challenging "you'll never be good enough" tone.

The bottom line: Intense


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