A movie not for the simple minded, Whiplash is a film which revolves around the lives of a passionate 19 year old musician Andrew (Miles Teller) and his perfectionist professor Fletcher (JK Simmons). The intense story begins when Andrew enrolls into the ‘Shaffer Conservatory of Music-a prestigious music college’ as a drummer and almost immediately ‘impresses’ Fletcher enough for him to be selected as a member of the sound team under him. From there on starts the clash of two musical egos; one of Andrew who with all his hard work and dedication does his best to impress Fletcher and Fletcher himself who holds no bar when it comes to pushing his students at all length to get the best out of them and to help him win every music competition.
If you think from there on movie moves to a typical storyline where a student becomes a musical prodigy or the professors mends his ways and becomes a less harsh and better tutor, then you are so wrong and this is exactly where Whiplash differs from any other music related movie. The movie in turn sticks with much more believable reality and showcases pure raw emotions of revenge, loathing and pure determination to prove oneself.
Both Teller and Simmons have done justice to their respective roles and have carried the movie with their brilliant performance and Damien Chazelle as a writer and a director has kept the story simple while bringing a new prospective of looking at a story. Chazelle also needs to be credited for paying special attention to visual details and getting into the mind of a musician, but the place where he lacks and yet differs from everyone else is not going into too much detail and not trying to justify a character in any way. The pure brilliance of this makes the viewer engrossed as to why a character is certain way and yet makes him also wonder why certain people in the movie even existed.
In the end I would say watch the movie for its pure raw brilliance and if for nothing else for Teller’s and Simmon’s brilliant acting.