Whiplash, 2014 – ★★★★

Tense. Unpredictable. Everything I expected it to be from the early reviews and success at Sundance.

With the narrative structure of a sports film, I was on tenterhooks throughout the build up to Andrew’s big final performance. With highs and lows along the way, what we’re all wondering is what the end result will be. Win or lose?

It doesn’t matter that Andrew is an unsympathetic character (and gets more so as we get to know him), I was invested in his future.

And then what to say about Fletcher. He’s a tyrant. Has no redeeming features. And he’s brilliant. Brilliantly detestable.

The message of the film for me is whether the fostering of artistic greatness is worth any cost. Is it acceptable for Fletcher to break the wills of so many of his students in the hope there will be one among them who succeeds? Does our view of this change if we know that there will be a positive outcome? I still don’t know. That’s what makes this film great in my eyes – I’m left with a moral dilemma to chew over.

Vía Letterboxd – ekcragg

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I am a freelance writer, editor and trainer. A librarian in a former life.

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