I walked into a screening of Whiplash with low expectations, but walked out thinking it may just win the Best Picture Oscar.
To be honest, the trailer didn’t do much for me – with the ‘inspirational teacher’ theme coming across as a little cliché. However, the relationship the two lead actors forge throughout the film in its entirety is nothing short of compelling and infectious.
Whiplash focuses on Andrew Neyman (Miles Teller), a 19-year-old jazz drummer desperate to rise to the top of the country’s most elite music conservatory. He practices day and night in hope of becoming the best. Terence Fletcher (J.K. Simmons) is a music instructor who rules by fear. One day, Terence discovers Andrew playing his drums and brings him into his orchestra.
The best way to describe the teacher is to compare him to a Sergeant Major. He throws chairs across the room, screams insults, and slaps faces – pushing Andrew in particular to the brink of his ability and sanity.
J.K. Simmons shines throughout the entire duration of this film – giving what is perhaps the performance of his career. With him and Miles Teller both on top form, alongside an impressive script and perfect direction from Damien Chazelle, Whiplash could’ve been about chess and it still would’ve been brilliant.
You don’t have to be a musician to appreciate what’s happening on the screen. This is a film that will appeal to anyone that has pushed to be the best at something. It will make you question how far you’re willing to go for success and why you aren’t willing to go further? Come the last beat, you’ll probably be as exhausted as Andrew from this thrill-ride of a movie that everyone is talking about.
See Whiplash and many other Oscar nominated films at Showcase Cinema, Peterborough now. Visit www.showcasecinemas.co.uk for the latest up-to-date show times for Peterborough Showcase. You can also join the chat on Twitter @showcasecinemas or on Facebook by searching for ‘Showcase Cinemas UK’.
Cast: Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons, Melissa Benoist & Paul Reiser
Running Time: 1 hr 46 mins
Written/Directed by: Damien Chazelle
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