Movie Review: “Whiplash” – Drum Roll Please!

Written by Samah Ali November 17, 2014

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 “I want to be one of the greats.”

After finishing its festival rounds, Damien’s Chazelle’s “Whiplash” has finally opened to the masses and wowed audiences with its triumphant story of an aspiring jazz drummer and his condescending, ruthless instructor. Pushing limits, the movie features unexpected twists and turns for an exhilarating, jaw dropping performance by Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons.

Warning: you won’t breathe for the next hour and forty-seven minutes because your breath was taken away.

Andrew (Teller) is an introverted, dedicated drummer who enrolls in the most prestigious music school in the country with one mission: to be one of the greatest jazz drummers alive. After an unexpected audition with the school’s famous jazz ensemble instructor, Fletcher (Simmons), Andrew is recruited into the group only to discover his dreams of working under the instructor are more torturous then fun.

“Get the fuck out of my sight before I demolish you.”

Let’s take a moment to applaud the production behind the movie; from the script to directing, acting to music, the film was sensational. The cinematic wizard behind the writing and directing of “Whiplash”, Damien Chazelle, exceeded all limits with the original storyline that rips you out of your seat and throws you into the life of jazz professionals. The stakes rise with every progressing scene and are unexpectedly broken in a new and refreshing way, dripping with emotion and passion that the audience could feel and relate to on another level. The decisions to hold shots and camera movement intensified every moment and left the audience pounding for more. Where’s a drum set when you need one?

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Miles Teller is here, ladies and gentlemen, and he is on the hunt for an Oscar. As he takes on the quiet role of Andrew, Teller adds layers of drive, uncertainty, excitement and heartbreak to the character that overwhelms you with the same emotions he fights on screen. With a captivating performance, radiating talent and hunger to be one of the greats, he drums his way to into your heart with unquestionably the best performance of his career. Forget the days of him being a fresh face in “Project X” or “Divergent” because Miles Teller is ready to be the next Hollywood heavyweight.

“I’m here for a reason!”

J.K. Simmons, arguably one of the most known but underrated actors, yells his way to center stage. Taking over the screen with manipulating, conniving actions that make you despise him yet want him to push you to your limits until you realize your talents. Best Supporting Actor, please and thank you.

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“I was there to push people beyond what was expected for them.”

Without a doubt, “Whiplash” is one of the best movies of the year and definitely steals a spot on my top ten list. Although it’s not a studio movie, this film is on the same level as some of the Oscar potentials just from its high pace drumming, emotions and bloodshed for dreaming big. It’s passionate, astounding, and has several musical breaks to remember that the story revolves around the beauty of Jazz music. “Whiplash” is a must-see and lives up to the buzz behind the phenomenal picture.

Rating: 9.5/10

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About Samah Ali

Samah Ali

With a deep admiration for film, television, and music, Samah spends most of her free time expressing and sharing her love for the arts. Studying Creative Writing at Western University, she enjoys writing about film & music and shapes her passions with the latest movie or album available.

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