Spared or Spoiled Film Reviews: Whiplash

The rules are simple: The good get spared. The bad get spoiled.

Whiplash (Sony Pictures Classics)

Whiplash Poster

Written & Directed by Damien Chazelle  Based on Whiplash by Damien Chazelle

Starring Miles TellerJ. K. Simmons & Paul Reiser

What an original film! I didn’t know what to expect and I was pleasantly surprised. Whiplash is a true music movie. It reminded me at times of Amadeus, where the music is the true star of the film. In this one, it’s the tempo. The tempo is the true star of this film.

Verdict: SPARED

The Conductor

The cast of Whiplash is its strongest characteristic. Miles Teller is outstanding as usual. I have loved him since seeing him in The Spectacular Now. And J.K. Simmons is amazing as his instructor- conductor-tormentor. He should win all of the awards. Paul Reiser as his father and Melissa Benoist as his love interest fill out the cast nicely.

Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons

I am not a big fan of the big band sound. And frankly the frenetic tempo of the two main pieces in the film; the title piece and an even faster one called Caravan, make me feel like I’m going to have a heart attack. But these are songs where the drummer is the lead. Like Buddy Rich, Max Roach or Billy Cruppa. This is some amazing precision drumming.

Are You Out of Tune

Whiplash is a fantastic film. A film about the obsession with perfection, the drive to be great and how far you can push a student before he snaps. But it is unlike anything I have ever seen before. And I’ve seen a lot of movies.

Miles Teller

I recommend Whiplash highly. One of the best films of last year. But with one caveat… if you can’t stand to hear the sound of a jazz drummer wailing away on the drums then you should avoid it. It is a movie about drumming. The drum is the main character and the tempo is the star. Whiplash is a movie about a young music student who dreams of being “One of the greats” and an instructor who dreams of finding the next Charlie Parker and the mess they make of each other’s lives. Fan-fucking-tastic.

J.K. Simmons

Whiplash is a music-centric movie where I am not even a fan of the style of music and I still enjoyed it profusely. The performances are incredible. And the movie is exhilarating.

What a great film.

– Mel


7 thoughts on “Spared or Spoiled Film Reviews: Whiplash

  1. I should really like because I like swing. I love Rich, Roach and Cruppa. Plus your right, Miles Teller was great in The Spectacular Now (watched that one because of your review). J.K. Simmons is always amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Spared or Spoiled Film Reviews: The Imitation Game | Mel Rook & The 7 Deadly Sins

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