Tuesday 11 November 2014
By Peter W Sheehan, Kairos Catholic Journal
THIS is a compelling American drama that depicts the development of a gifted jazz talent. The movie won the Audience Award and the Grand Jury Prize for best drama at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. The title of the movie metaphorically refers to a sudden impact on the body that is traumatic and that can have lasting effects. Whiplash is also the title of a jazz composition by Hank Levy.

Miles Teller plays the part of a promising, ambitious 19-year-old drummer, Andrew Neyman, who enrols at a highly competitive musical conservatory in New York, where all that matters is the development of potential. His terrifying instructor, Terence Fletcher (JK Simmons), is the sudden force who targets his talent. ‘Were you rushing, or were you dragging?’, Fletcher yells, and then proceeds to further humiliate Andrew as he breaks down in tears in front of his peers. Fletcher is ruthless and relentless in his verbal harassment of Andrew, and the scenes of his harassment are hard to watch.

Andrew plays the drums until his hands bleed, and he is told that ‘a good job’ is never good enough. Fletcher seems impossible to please.

Previous Article Men, Women and the Mystery of Love
Next Article Caritas Australia’s Advent calendar: solidarity with people living in poverty