A simple, yet haunting story about an ambitious young jazz drummer (Miles Teller) obsessed with becoming one of the greats, and his terrifying instructor (J.K. Simmons) who ruthlessly pushes him to the brink – Whiplash is a riveting, intense exploration of artistry and obsession.
I’ve never gotten on the whole Miles-Teller-train, but Whiplash gives the young actor a role perfectly crafted for him; and J.K. Simmons, once known primarily for his memorable cameos as J. Jonah Jameson in the original Spider-Man films, is unstoppable here.
Whiplash is focused on one thing and one thing alone – the relationship between a musician and his instructor. Little else gets in the way. It is a slow-burning thriller about obsession, artistic perfection, and the lengths artists are willing to sacrifice for their craft.
© Matt Tory, 2014.