Brutal, Intense, and yet inspiring, Whiplash is truly a diamond in the rough and one hell of extraordinary film.
Whiplash tells the tale of Andrew Neyman (Miles Teller), a young jazz musician at Schaffer Conservatory, and his dream of being a successful jazz musician. Fuelled by his passion and hunger to be an elite musician, he must earn the respect of his brilliant yet highly demanding teacher.
Whiplash effectively opens the eye to people unbeknownst about the passion, the commitment, the sacrifices musicians must undertake to achieve perfection in a song. Added in with the tension of students being forced to go beyond their breaking point, the whole music studio effectively becomes a psychological battlefield where passion and commitment turn to obsession and addiction forcing people to achieve perfection at the cost of ones mental and physical body.
It was originally a short film produced back in 2013, which debuted at the Cannes Film Festival. The film was an instant hit and several studios agreed to produce the full film. A year later the feature length was released to near critical acclaim.
For his portrayal of Terrence Fletcher, the ruthless yet equally talented music teacher who acts as Neyman’s mentor, J.K. Simmons won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Male Actor at the 2015 Oscars. Whiplash also went to win the Academy award for Best Editing and best Sound Mixing.
Whiplash is a rare example of a well polished film from an independent production, and because of that it deserves the title as one of the best films of 2014.