Feb 22, 2015

Whiplash, 2014

Whiplash, 2014
Director: Damien Chazelle
Cast: Miles Teller, J.K.Simmons, Melissa Benoist

Stage: Home Cinema Complex :), later again on Ipad, and again on Ipad.

My personal rating: 9,5 (a masterpiece - you need to watch this!)
Nominated for 5 oscars 2014!

Whiplash in short: A promising young drummer enrolls at a cut-throat music conservatory where his dreams of greatness are mentored by an instructor who will stop at nothing to realize a student's potential.

Preps: I read an article about this movie and wanted to watch it. Normally I would watch all the Oscar nominees, try to evaluate them before they are judged and praised and try to guess who will be the winner in the most prominent categories. Plus, I am keen on movies that include some kind of classical approach to music, preferably classical music. This one involves jazz, not my favorite piece of pie, however I suspected it would have great music pieces within.

Reality: It hits you like a knife in your stomach. Not only the music. It is brilliant, as I suspected. With hit in the stomach, I mean the story. It involves so many young people, trying to achieve something extraordinary in life, something that would leave their watermark on the planet. Like so many people already did. Einstein, Mozart, Ingemar Stenmark, Marie Curie, Alexander Bell.. there are many people everyone knows and it's this man's dream to achieve something remarkable. To be the best drummer in the world. Better than anyone ever up to this point.

He does have this aim and vision of his life. Submerges everything he knows to this goal. Dismisses the girlfriend, tries to win some attention in his family, but doesn't, practices day and night and works his ass off to be accepted in the orchestra the way he thinks they should accept him. Is subtle and doesn't raise attention, because all he does is either listens to music or plays the beat.

The lessons learned are hard yet he maintains his head above the water. His relationship with his teacher turns into something larger than WW2, as the nazi approach of Fletcher pushes him beyond his limits.  And sometimes brings out the best out of him. And turns this movie into a hyper impulsive beat, with the last concert played into a movie vibrato.
Beautiful. From the first to the last second. I truly enjoyed these interpretations of jazz music and the urge to succeed at any cost. Fletcher's excuse is that he needs to put his students into misery and press them anyway he can, because only that will bring them to the point where they will excel. The price of this kind of success is immense. Not only possible suicides, depressions, etc, that students would normally have with this kind of treatment. Plus, one in ten thousand really does it. Or one in hundred thousand or even million. It is even more beyond belief how many people it takes to fail for one person to succeed.

Tonight is the Oscar night. I hope Simmons wins for the supporting role. He really deserves it.
Strong recommendation - watch it and think about it :) It could straighten your priorities in life.