It’s not often I find myself, as the credits roll, wondering why I never saw a film when it was released. Whiplash (2014) falls harder under that category than anything I have seen before. A relentless torment of emotion and jazz, this is a film that will light you up from head to toe and make you want to run out of whatever room you’re viewing it in and pursue your passions.
Whiplash is the story of a music student, played by Miles Teller, who catches the eye of a renowned teacher (J.K Simmons) with a reputation for his brutal and anxiety-inducing teaching methods.
The story follows the relationship between the two as the student, Andrew, puts his everything into his drumming and his teacher Fletcher pushes him to the limits, quite literally drawing blood and sweat more than once. Not a film for the faint-hearted, I found myself wondering at times how Andrew could pick up him drumsticks, let alone play each set with blistered and bleeding hands.
It’s this drive and intensity that fuels the plot of the film, pulling the audience behind the protagonist as he desperately tries to make something of himself. It’s a raw emotional power that is handled without any elegance or filter. Rarely letting up from start to finish, if you’re not wired by the end of Whiplash then I have no idea what you’re made of.
Everything in Whiplash is built to serve the almighty message of Andrew’s drive for musical greatness, and this is perhaps the films only weakness. Not much of a weakness, all told. Whiplash is original, unrelenting and intense from start to finish.