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Reviews Film / Whiplash

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07/18/2019 10:43:33 •••

This movie pissed me off.

There are sometimes cases when, from the artistic standpoint, the artpiece is technically good and does what it does perfectly well, yet in the end, you feel that you simply can't recommend it. For me, this movie is one of those cases.

Technically speaking, the movie fulfills its goals and does everything right. The cinematography is good. The acting is amazing, with J.K. Simmons giving a scarily great performance. The story unravels itself well and proceeds from point A to point B without any notable hiccups (though I do think the first 5-10 minutes or so are a little boring). The production values are good and the music is interesting to listen to. I can't really think of anything that is wrong here, beyond my main problem with the movie.

But, I'm sorry, this movie is just a horrifying story that is simply unpleasant to watch. Basically, the conflict here is set between two people: on one hand we have a student who starts out seemingly nice, but then turns out to be a self-centered narcissist, genuinely believing he's THE best drummer out there and his dreams go above everything and everyone else. On the other hand we have a music teacher who quickly turns out to be an asshole of absolutely galactic proportions, who will insult his students left and right, yell at them and hurt them all the time, and pretty much drive them to suicide or nearly killing themselves, purely for the sake of making them play music a little better.

As the movie goes on, the conflict becomes stronger and more apparent, the two keep getting more and more jerkish, and it all eventually treads into varying degrees of Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy, where I was just hating the story as a whole and couldn't stand watching this terrifying spectacle of human misery.

What pisses me off the most is that, at least in my understanding, there is simply no way that the behavior of the teacher could conceivably be justified. If he was an actual drill sergeant and his task was to prepare future soldiers for the harsh and unforgiving reality of the war, that would be one thing. BUT THIS IS FREAKING MUSIC. All that those people are going to be doing in their life is sitting on a chair and playing an instrument. Surely it's enough of a reason to cut them at least a little bit of slack?!

I am aware that this is what the movie was going for, and like I said, it fulfills its goals without a hitch, and the great performances are likely the reason this story feels so upsetting. But at the end of the day, I need to ask myself: what am I more likely to watch? A movie that makes me feel good and satisfied? Or a movie that just makes me fume with anger once the credits start rolling?

If you can stomach watching a movie that consists of nothing but a constant back-and-forth between a jerkass and a bigger jerkass, then I'm sure you'll like this movie fine. But personally, I just don't understand how can everyone love this movie so much.

07/17/2019 00:00:00

You speak sense, which is sadly what more and more viewers are decreasing in these days.

07/18/2019 00:00:00

I\'ve not seen the movie, but is the fact that the teacher is going way overboard a deliberate part of the story? I\'m just wondering if its like Black Swan, where the ballet teacher is going way over the line, but we\'re supposed to recognise its an abusive relationship that the main character is trapped in?

07/18/2019 00:00:00

Yeah, the teacher going way overboard is pretty much the entire point, but he goes SO FAR over the top that I can definitely agree with the reviewer here.


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