Whiplash [2014] ★★★½

timthumbMovies about music are so easy to get wrong. Yet “Whiplash” gets it wittily, thrillingly right. It turns the familiar into something bracingly fresh and funny. It’s intense, clever and brilliantly acted by its two leads, Miles Teller and J.K Simmons who gives the performance of his career. Written and directed by the gifted Damien Chazelle , from his own personal experience, “Whiplash” is about a student (Teller) who is trying to master the art of Jazz drumming at an elite music conservatory. His instructor (Simmons) is a master at making you feel worthless if you don’t follow his tempo. Trust me, you don’t want to piss that guy off.  The movie is also thought provoking: how far are you willing to go to become the best? Along the way, Chazelle stages some of the best drum sessions I’ve ever seen onscreen. Seriously, do it again man. You’re good at it. And the two leads are simply mesmerizing. Teller (“The Spectacular Now”), a drummer himself, will blow you away with his skills. And J.K Simmons, who usually plays gentle characters (see “Juno”), gives a fearless, electrifying, Oscar-worthy performance.”Whiplash” is definitely a crowd-pleaser and one of 2014’s finest movies. Do not miss it.

Rating: 3.5/4

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