CinemaCl🎃wn’s review published on Letterboxd:
This is it! This is where the search for the best picture of 2014 ends for me. And although there are few films from last year that I still need to check out, I highly doubt that watching them is going to make any difference because after sitting through what is undeniably a goosebumps-inducing cinematic experience from start to finish, I can say with absolute certainty that Whiplash is my Movie of the Year.
Whiplash tells the story of Andrew Neiman; a 19-year-old Jazz drummer who aspires to become one of the great drummers like Buddy Rich & finds himself under the wing of the school's most respected but fearsome teacher, Terence Fletcher. Determined to impress the instructor after getting the grilling of his life on his very first day, Neiman completely dedicates himself to his craft but Fletcher aims to push him beyond what he's capable of.
Fabulously written & meticulously directed by Damien Chazelle, Whiplash is a work of blazing originality that takes over the screen like an invading horde & from its opening moments to the spectacular finale, Chazelle's kinetic direction in what is his sophomore effort controls the film's charged atmosphere with sublime precision while also keeping the rest of its elements perfectly in rhythm with each other.
Coming to the technical aspects, the entire picture is a work of astounding production & every aspect only contributes in further enriching the overall experience. Sets are refined to smallest of details, Cinematography makes near-perfect use of colour palettes, hues & lighting, Editing is one of its strongest aspects that makes its viciously paced story all the more engaging while its jazz-heavy soundtrack keeps the premise on the verge of explosion at all times.
As far as acting goes, this is easily Miles Teller's best performance to date for the actor gives his all in what is a physically demanding role to completely reinvent himself & he's an absolute revelation as Andrew Neiman. And yet, he is completely overshadowed by J.K. Simmons who is in as Terence Fletcher and with his intimidating screen presence, he manages to deliver the most impressive, memorable & dominating performance we've ever seen from the veteran actor.
On an overall scale, Whiplash is a powerhouse of fierce direction, smart writing, charged atmosphere, dynamic photography, cut-throat editing, strong performances & dazzling score which promises an emotionally intense cinematic ride & effortlessly delivers it. Passionate filmmaking at its best, it's a heavy dose of adrenaline shot that marks a stunning breakthrough for its director, features the career-best performances from its cast & is absolutely electrifying from start to finish.
Electric, explosive, visceral, spectacular, feverish, muscular, volatile, provocative, intoxicant, dangerous, glorious, incredible, sharp, creative, vicious, kinetic, crazy, extraordinary, soulful, stellar, tremendous, triumphant, exhilarating, electrifying, thrilling, inspiring, transfixing, astounding, jaw-dropping, heartbreaking, intimidating, challenging, gripping, daring, entertaining, satisfying & rewarding in every possible manner, Whiplash comes one hundred percent recommended.