Tight as a drum.
Clichéd as it is, Whiplash is so well paced, written, acted, directed and well….everything, that it’s a more than suitable description. This film featured on many a US ‘Best of 2014’ list, and I’d be extremely surprised if enough films of this quality were released through 2015 to knock it out of my top 10.
I’d not seen Miles Teller before; my only knowledge before was that he is going to play Reed Richards/Mr Fantastic in the Fantastic 4 reboot. On this showing he should find it a piece of cake. Full of desire and grit his drive to become one of the greats might not make him a great person, but it does make him a damn good drummer.
Teller is fantastic, but then there’s J.K Simmons. As an emotionally manipulative music composer he absolutely shines. I was intimidated by him, but at the same I was captivated. Just like the best superhero pairings a hero is only as good as his villain, and here they continue to push each other past what they thought was possible. I guess they’re both pretty unlikeable actually, but that doesn’t matter.
The acting is complimented perfectly by the direction and editing, which matches the beat in perfect time. Moments where the camera moves between the two leads as they challenge each other builds great tension as blood, sweat and tears are shed.
I found there to be a message of ‘practice makes perfect’. I disagree with that personally as that’s not how the world works a lot of the time. However, it needs to work for the story and it’s such a small, picky thing that it’s an easily cleared hurdle.
There might not be a lot of promotion for this film, as I’ve only seen a few TV ads. But if you can you really should see Whiplash. I’m already looking forward to watching it again.