Sunday, July 12, 2015

Whiplash (2014)

Today's film is Whiplash, a film in which a man will do whatever it takes to be the greatest drummer of all time.  Which is impossible because John Bonham is the greatest drummer (Dave Grohl is good, but he doesn't focus on drums much anymore).

Andrew studies jazz music and drumming at a prestigious music conservatory.  He hopes to be in the music teacher Fletcher's class, but is warned that he is really intense.  Andrew is accepted into the class and finds out the hard way just how intense he is.  Can he keep up?

Andrew listens to a cd of Buddy Rich, who had a really short temper, which I think foreshadows his teacher's attitude!  Andrew's attitude changes and he becomes even more determined to become a great drummer no matter what.

The only part that lost me was when his car was hit head-on by a truck, flipped over, and he crawled out unharmed and ran to the show.  There's no way.

After he tries and fails the plays the drums immediately after his accident, he is forced to quit the school.  He is approached by a lawyer and the family of a student that killed himself who desire to pin the blame on Fletcher.  Fletcher is intense because he wants to push his students to become better, like a drill sergeant creates better soldiers.  He never had any intention of killing anyone.  Andrew, being upset about losing his dream, agrees to testify that Fletcher pushed him too hard as well.

Later, Fletcher is fired from the music conservatory and Andrew runs into him while he is playing jazz with a band.  They start chatting and it looks like everything is normal.  He invites Andrew to play drums for his band at an upcoming show.  Not just any show, but one with talent scouts that he could actually find a job as a musician.

Andrew comes to the show ready to play, but Fletcher has other plans.  He knew that he testified because who else but the expelled student with a grudge would do that?  Fletcher told him the wrong song!  But instead of being discouraged, Andrew starts playing the most kickass drum solo ever.  Fletcher marches over there and glares at him, but in that moment, they realize they have the exact same dream.  It took years of him pushing his students to the brink for him to find one to push back.  He lets Andrew finish his solo and he leads the band as well.  I will give this film a 9/10.

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