Whiplash (Damien Chazelle – 2014) A

What would someone do to be truly great, to achieve perfection over and over? This is a topic I am always fascinated by. The sacrifice and hard work of those at the top of their game makes for great movies and documentaries. When Andrew (Miles Teller) gets picked by Fletcher (J.K. Simmons) to join his Jazz band in a prestigious conservatory he sees it as his ticket to greatness. Fletcher’s group is the best of the best, he shapes great musicians and our drummer protagonist worked his butt off to make it there. J.K. Simmons does and amazing job as Fletcher. He is menacing, ruthless, scary but can also lull you into comfort before breaking you down. If Andrew’s dream is to be on of the greats, the real Greats as a drummer, it is Fletcher’s dream to produce one of the greats from his class. While I think Fletcher is a horrible person, the film almost makes a case that him and Andrew are made for each other. Miles Teller does a hell of a job here as well and with Chazelle’s tight direction, awesome music and an outstanding finale this makes for a masterpiece of a movie.

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