Terrific music drama never misses a beat
Director and cast harmonise perfectly
Manhattan music conservatory and avoid the regrets which haunt his writer father (Paul Reiser).
So he practises night and day and catches the eye of the school’s most revered teacher, Terence Fletcher (Simmons). Soon after, Andrew transfers to Fletcher’s class and becomes the alternate drummer in the band behind lead player Carl (Nate Lang).
When the opportunity arises for Andrew to impress, he rises to the occasion but alienates himself from the rest of the band.
A fledgling romance with Nicole (Melissa Benoist), who works at Andrew’s local cinema, is sacrificed in a cold, cruel fashion that would have Fletcher smacking his lips with glee.
The game of one-upmanship between teacher and pupil spirals out of control as Andrew struggles to meet the lofty expectations of his maniacal mentor and earn the right to play at a concert in the rarefied surroundings of Carnegie Hall.
Whiplash delivers one emotional wallop after another as Andrew practises until his hands bleed and Simmons belittles those herculean efforts by growling, “Is that the fastest you can go? It is no wonder Mommy ran out on you!”
We root for the beleaguered 19-yearold with every display of frenzied stick-work, urging Andrew to wipe the smug grin off Fletcher’s face.
Our investment in the characters is immense and Chazelle rewards us with an astounding denouement that saps every ounce of energy from our bodies.
We’re delirious, euphoric and physically spent.
JK Simmons as the maniacal metor in Whiplash