Whiplash Damien Chazelle
Published Sep 04, 2014Damien Chazelle's electrifying jazz-drumming picture is a dynamo of cinematic entertainment and a rip-roaring musical thrill ride. Andrew Neyman (Miles Teller) and Terence Fletcher (J.K. Simmons), student and teacher, go head to head in a physical and psychological battle of wills — all for the sake of achieving musical greatness. The picture itself achieves the same kind of greatness the characters strive for, portraying the art of drumming as a painstaking exercise in physical exhaustion and emotional attrition. Cinematic bravura trumps the consciously simple theme of the dedication of great artists and performers to their craft. Grandiose performances and several foot-tapping jazz numbers anchor this resounding crowd pleaser.