The quest for greatness, and all that jazz
In the first few moments of Whiplash, jazz instructor Terence (J.K. Simmons meets Andrew (Miles Teller), an ambitious young jazz drummer who wants to become one of the greats. He doesn’t want to excel in a Bring It On/Drumline kind of way, he wants to bet the best in a Black Swan kind of way. And Terence is just the terrifying instructor to get him there.
I didn’t rush to see this film because I was never in the mood to see an intense bully film. Let’s just say that I only watched Black Swan once.
My loss for waiting to see Whiplash. The tone of this movie is positively electric and this thriller is full of high-swinging performances. Teller and Simmons are both exceptional in their roles, playing off each other as seamlessly as musical instruments.
One ridiculously scripted plot twist took me out of the otherwise realistic story, but it was redeemed by the chemistry of the two performers, the music that comes alive on screen and a powerful ending. It’s hard to find a bad movie in the theater this month, but this one should be on the top of your list.
The ten buck review: Worth ten bucks.