Whiplash (2014)

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Much has been said regarding Whiplash in regards to its critical acclaim, but truth be told it all flew over my head and I don’t even recall watching a trailer or generating any sustainable anticipation to see it upon release. Apart from the music element, I knew exactly zero of what Whiplash was about. In truth, that’s probably benefited me in the long run as this is a worthy example of virtuoso filmmaking whereby the drive to succeed runs deep throughout.

My lack of prior enthusiasm made me worry initially as several of the film’s earlier moments didn’t hit home for me, but soon enough Whiplash’s identity becomes apparent. Most of it works because of the dynamic script whereby Chazelle depicts this battle to succeed with extensive focus on the aggression inside its two central focuses, constantly portraying them with an intensity more shattering than anything I saw last year.

Exemplary in how it explores the dynamic here, it’s important to recognise the excellent work of the young Miles Teller competing with his aggressive tutor played by a never better J.K. Simmons. Whiplash achieves a lot because of the power of its character development and how the script morphs obsession with their personality, but it’s only as stellar as it due to their work. The film’s precise, remarkable finale seals it perfectly. This is gonna sweep.

84/100

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