Although a movie about a student/teacher relationship may not seem very exciting, this film is a riveting drama that creates surprisingly high levels of tension and suspense.
Andrew Neyman (Miles Teller-Spectacular Now) is a promising percussionist at one of the best music schools in the country. Terence Fletcher (JK Simmons-Law and Order), the highest level teacher at the college, hears him practicing and invites him to try out for the prestigious jazz studio band that Fletcher conducts.
The movie primarily revolves around their relationship, which is quite disturbing. Mr. Fletcher is unreasonably demanding, as well as verbally and physically abusive, driving Andrew harder and harder. Is he a sadist or is there a method to his madness… or both?
The movie raises interesting questions such as ‘how much are you willing to sacrifice in order to be great?,’ and ‘does someone pushing you beyond what you think you are capable of help and/or hinder your development as an artist?’
The acting of the two leads is excellent, and the film wouldn’t have worked nearly as well if the performances had been mediocre. The jazz soundtrack is also terrific.
Writer/Director Damien Chazelle is a major talent, and I anticipate seeing many more good movies from him.
Stick your neck out and see Whiplash before it leaves the theaters.
Rating-8.0 – Top 20 film