At The Movies – Whiplash

2015 At the movies August 2015 Entertainment Suzanne A. Marshall

By Suzanne A. Marshall from the August 2015 Edition

Starring:  Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons, Paul Reiser, Melissa Benoist,

Director:  Damien Chazelle  

“A promising young drummer enrolls at a cut-throat music conservatory where his dreams of greatness are mentored by an instructor who will stop at nothing to realize a students potential.”

This is definitely not a movie for everyone. It is extremely intense and difficult to watch especially concerning the abusive character of the music conservatory teacher played by J.K. Simmons who won an academy award for this role. But if you love big band jazz and amazing drumming akin to the famous American drummer Buddy Rich, some of the drumming scenes in the movie will take your breath away.

The movie is highly touted by many viewers and I agree that it is technically superb movie-making and acting. On a strictly personal level I wondering what the point was. Is it appropriate to beat down and abuse young musicians in order to bring out their genius? The movie left me feeling ‘down’ and wondering how many people will believe that the behavior of the foul-mouthed, intimidating and power wielding teacher is justified. And, how many lives of young ‘budding musicians’ would be destroyed by such a character were it happening in real life. I certainly hope that this fictional portrayal does not inspire or justify such behavior in real life.

IMDB rated this movie as 8.6/10 based on 255,491 viewers.

By Suzanne A. Marshall

Download the full edition or view it online