In 2013, writer and director Damien Chazelle attempted to make a small, but innovative movie about a musician and his relationship with a mentor. Unfortunately the funding was denied - so he made a short film to tempt them into funding it instead. It was incredibly well received and immediately given full feature funding - and that movie is Whiplash.
Filled out with a deeper story, character study and creativity - the film follows Andrew Neiman (Miles Teller), a first-year student at a musical-based college. With aspirations of becoming a drummer who will be remembered, he is chosen to join the school band, by Mr Fletcher (JK Simmons) - a ruthless teacher that pushes students beyond limits to make them realise their potential, often to the point of stretching his humanity.
Like a boxer tapes up their bloodied fist, Andrew tapes up his fingers as he practises harder than ever before to gain Fletcher's approval. Much like the boxing films, we track Andrew on the difficult, vigorous journey to become the best.
It's a basic plot, but the reliance on the characters pays off, and incredibly shot in just ninteen days - it is overall cinema perfection.
Fletcher, portrayed by JK Simmons is close to what Pogue Colonel is in a Full Metal Jacket; raw, terrifying and bursting with energy. Starring in the lead role, Miles Teller is outstanding in the enduring journey to be the best under his dreaded-teaching.
It doesn't matter if you are a Jazz fan or not, the film is innovative enough to engage you. Overall, Whiplash does not miss a beat (no pun intended).