WHIPLASH: Review – A young student of Jazz drumming accidentally finds himself in Full Metal Jacket.
‘I’ve got blisters on my fingers,’ screamed Ringo Starr towards the end of a poundingly murderous version of Helter Skelter. Anyone watching Damien Chazelle’s new film will know exactly how everybody’s second favorite Beatle felt.
Andrew (Miles Teller) is the young hopeful at a prestigious New York music school, who is called to join the band of acerbic but brilliant teacher Fletcher (J.K. Simmons). Here he is summarily ripped to shreds by the teacher in a series of diatribes which are hilariously nasty and spiteful. The overhanging question is whether this is all at the service of a relentless pursuit of perfection, or if the hate is there just for the sake of it. Perhaps, Fletcher’s sadism is more basically rooted than his high minded appeals to musical elitism. However, Andrew is sold on the idea and becomes increasingly complicit in his own self-destructive single-mindedness.
Following a superb turn in The Spectacular Now, Miles Teller has definitively arrived and with Whiplash arrived with a bang, crash and wallop. But not to be outdone – and mimicking some of the generational angst of the film, CK Simmons has now belatedly gone from being ‘oh him, I like him, he was in [sound of fingers clicking]’ man to CK SIMMONS.