Whiplash is a great movie. If you are like me and are hesitant to watch it because you really dont give a damn about jazz music, let me put your mind at ease. You do not need to love, or even like, jazz music in order to fully appreciate and enjoy this film. The theme runs much deeper than the subject matter.
Whiplash tells the tale of a young drummer who strives to be the best and is mentored by a ridiculously over-strict instructor. What the movie is really about though is how far will you or should you go to achieve excellence at something. The movie shows that in order to be the greatest at anything (in this case its drumming, but it really could be anything), you will have to sacrifice a lot. And by a lot, that includes your friends, family, and even your own health, dignity and self-respect.
All the pieces here are meticulously constructed. The cinematography is vibrant and sleek. The sound design and mixing is incredible (it dese4rved its Oscar here). And the acting is also top notch. Miles teller has a face you just want to punch (which suits the character, whom you should want to punch after not too long), but he does a very good job. J.K. Simmons is also great, creating what may be the year’s best on-screen villain.
Whiplash does a great job exploring the cost and pay-off of trying to be the greatest. IN the quest to become the world’s best drummer, this character goes through a lot and changes a lot. For a moment there, I was worried that we would be left with a disappointing ending however. At the beginning of the third act, the movie started to lose steam and felt like it was going to whimper out at the end. But I was wrong. The conclusion of the film really picked things back up again, took this theme that its been working with and brought it to its pay-ff. And whats brilliant, is that which the theme of achieving success is brought to its fulfillment, it left to the audience to interpret whether or not the cost is worth it. Only great movies can do that.