From the first frame whiplash sets the dark and gritty demeanor, follows through with the same pitch black grittiness till half of its short run of 105 minutes. Dealing with the wretched state of music
and the musicians these days, drummers in particular, while trying to elevate jazz music and relive the zenith of the jazz era.
If it wasn’t for the overtly abusive and homophobic Terence Fletcher or the forced twists which only betray the greatness of the premise; Whiplash could’ve been a Classic masterpiece. It is a cult classic nonetheless, any aspiring drummer can find all the motivation he would ever need in the phenomenal solo drum pieces.
The alarmingly abusive tough-guy mentor thing was pretty clichéd and marred my interest at 30 minutes in. Fear is a great motivator for toiling jobs, not for creative endeavors. You simply can’t make a drummer play faster than his spontaneous limit by hurling objects intending harm at his head. They evolve, with time. Another annoying thing about Fletcher is the unwarranted incessant gay insults he hurl at everyone.
At the one hour mark he makes Neiman play faster and faster and faster unless the two consecutive drum beats merge into a resonating crescendo. That was so sublime and epic that if Whiplash would’ve ended there it could have touched greatness.
It goes downhill after that with few other generic twists and turns only to be redeemed in the closing moments with the same resonating crescendo solo by Neiman in front of a reputable audience.
Worth watching for the raw earthly performances, intense jazz tunes, and to learn a thing or two about soul-shredding competition in any wake of life. Or f_uck that, smoke a doobie and just chill. No one makes it out alive and kicking anyway. Listen to these songs while you’re at it, thank me later.
Blaze it. Volume 1. & Blaze it. Volume 2.
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