Review: ‘Whiplash’ electrifies

Victoria Adams, Copy Editor

Rarely do we think about how much an artist gives to be a top performer.

“Whiplash” shows us the visceral side of jazz music and that great art really does come from pain.

Andrew Neiman, played by an enticing Miles Teller, is a talented jazz musician who is in his first year at the ultra-competitive Shaffer Conservatory of Music (a fictional school based off of Juilliard).

He is driven to not only be great, but to be one of the greats like his idol, Buddy Rich.

Unfortunately for Andrew, his professor Terrence Fletcher, played by a captivating J.K. Simmons, has his heart set on creating the best jazz musician by any means necessary.

And I mean any means necessary.

Whether it be screaming profanities or hurling metal chairs Fletcher is a force to be reckoned with.

Fletcher pushes his students beyond what is expected and proves his lack of compassion with lines like, “There are no two words in the English language more harmful than, ‘good job’.”

Fletcher is a character whose bite is every bit as bad as his bark.

Andrew is slightly arrogant and will stop at nothing to be the best.

You still root for him, you want him to pull through, and prove his worth to the tyrant maestro Fletcher.

At first it is hard to tell if Fletcher truly believes his tough-love teaching style is helping students or if he is just a masochist who enjoys humiliating his students.

You can feel the pressure build as Andrew goes further and further to try and please his mentor.

You feel for Andrew and can’t help but wonder why he doesn’t just give up, report Fletcher and stop him from ever doing this to another student.

One thing is for sure between the fast-paced cinematography and even faster music this movie will leave you breathless.

The music in this movie is a specific kind of jazz; big, aggressive numbers that really feature the drummers.

Miles Teller is a self-taught drummer and did all of his own drumming in the movie.

That in itself shows just how devoted he was and is reason enough to see the movie.

One thing is for certain, this movie will either leave you glad you never pursued a career in music or have you wishing you had half the ambition and drive as Andrew.

Maybe a little bit of both.

Victoria Adams is a senior communication studies major.

She can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]