Let's Chat: Whiplash

Damien Chazelle (2014)

I had heard wonders about this film and it's intensity, and, well, all I can say is it lived up to it all. If you haven't seen this film do yourself a favour and head down to whichever local cinema is playing it and let it take you for one hell of a ride.Honestly, while watching this film I momentarily forgot how to breathe, at least for half the film, and the other half I was gasping and clawing at my face because the intensity was too much and I couldn't take it, but all in a very, very good way.

If you're thinking, "I'm not really into films about music", don't worry, this will turn you right around. The sheer determination of this film is catchable, I came out of it wanting to do more, be more and live more. The acting is impeccable. J.K Simmons, the always great, legitimately frightens me in this one, and semi-new-comer, Miles Teller, blew me away with his acting chops, it's no wonder he's up for the BAFTA EE Rising Star Award, up against other standouts of 2014, Shailene Woodley and Jack O'Connell.

Whiplash is a true character study, that follows 19-year-old, Andrew Newman (Teller), as he makes his way through the top conservatory for music and into the most renowned jazz band with its ruthless conductor, Tom Fletcher (Simmons). Newman defies his new teacher again and again by constantly improving upon himself and his skill. The entire film is a constant build-up of moments, all of which you can't believe are happening and almost don't want to watch (but must), right up to the last fifteen minutes or so, when the greatest climax begins - and this is where I remind you to breathe people, don't forget that, your body will want to remain completely still and silent but you really should breathe. It's not all intensity though, you will laugh, a lot, and you will possibly tear up of emotional happiness, and also sadness, but it's all very well worth the roller coaster of emotions.

The film is now up for an Academy Award for Best Picture, Simmons is up for Best Supporting Actor (following his Golden Globe win in the same category) as well as Best Writing (Screenplay based on previous material), Best Editing and Best Sound Mixing.

If the story doesn't appeal to you, let the acting take over your experience, trust me you will enjoy this film. I wish I could watch it again for the first time, because there's nothing like the first-watch of a film such as this.

If you've seen it, let me know what you thought, and if you haven't let me know if I've swayed you to go as soon as you can!


  1. I have been thinking about watching this! Now I will have to :)
    It sounds great, thanks for the review.
    - C
    Claudine Converses



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