“Whiplash” Immerses the Viewer In a Well-Acted Drama



“Whiplash” will not only fascinate you for the entirety of the movie’s runtime, but the events of the movie will feel as if it was telling a story of your experience

“Whiplash” tells a story about an aspiring jazz drummer at Shaffer Conservatory, a fictional music school set in New York City. Andrew Namin, played by Miles Teller, shows his drive to ‘not only become great, but to be one of the greats.’ The story shows Namin’s obsession with his passion that becomes self-destructive, only spurred on by Terrence Fletcher, played by J.K. Simmons, whose teaching methods border on the line of psychopathic.

“Whiplash” is a movie about obsession and self worth. In the first scene it displays all of this perfectly, and with impressive grace. “Whiplash” gives the audience a tactile feel of the atmosphere by using nothing but lighting and acting. Viewers will find themselves truly immersed in the movie and be able to feel exactly what the film is portraying.

Arguably, the most impressive example of this is the scene that starts off the movie; it begins in a practice room with a rolling drum beat that shows Namin practicing and in walks Fletcher. The lighting difference between the two characters create a sense of duality that is unmistakable.

The color palette of the movie is also something that was even more impressive on the second watch. With the palette being very intense with grainy black and intense oranges throughout the movie, it gives a sense of being trapped in a dungeon with the only changes of lighting being to more pleasant tones when he is not playing.

One of the strongest aspects about “Whiplash” is the performances delivered by Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons. The feeling you get when you hear a student is being yelled at when you sit next to them is the perfect way of describing the feeling of anxiety, stress, tension, and catharsis that is shown throughout this movie.

“Whiplash” is not only impressive as a drama; the movie can also be enjoyed as a comedy of sorts. The intensity and vulgarity that the movie shows at times gives the audience a cathartic sense of enjoyment in the absurdity of many scenes.

This review would be remiss had it not referenced the music in the film. With the film being centered around an aspiring jazz drummer, the movie wouldn’t be complete without a good soundtrack. With both main songs used in the film being real songs ‘Whiplash’ by Don Ellis, and ‘Caravan’ by Duke Ellington both being jazz staples, it gives the movie a sense of authenticity and can be enjoyed by both fans of classic jazz music and cinema.

“Whiplash” gives the viewer a fit of nervous laughter with a side of nail biting suspense that should not be missed out on. I would recommend this film to anyone, no questions asked. This movie is easily Damian Chazelle’s best.