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Whiplash (2014)

Whiplash (2014) 

A portrait of determination and dedication to a craft.

Laura’s Rating: 4/5 Stars

Plot: Andrew Neiman is a student at an elite music conservatory. His passion for jazz drumming is encouraged by controversial instructor Terrence Fletcher, who uses harsh and unconventional teaching methods. Fletcher pushes Neiman to the edge of his talent and his sanity.

Analysis: This movie has great acting by Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons. The film was nominated for Best Picture and won several Academy Awards, including Best Supporting Actor for Simmons.

A quote from Fletcher encompasses his teaching style: “There are no two words in the English language more harmful than ‘good job’.”

Fletcher will not give credit if it’s not due, and maybe not even if it is due. He is steadfast in his extreme methods of pushing people beyond expectations. This won’t necessarily work for most students, but he truly believes in Neiman’s abilities and knows he can make him great. The relationship between student and teacher is truly fascinating.

The movie is intense and emotional, showing the competitiveness and true drive of these students determined to become top musicians. The dedication to the craft is next level, with Neiman literally endangering his well-being on multiple instances in pursuit of perfection of his craft. In this way, it reminded me of Black Swan. I’d definitely recommend the film. 

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