WHIPLASH – GO BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE
I don’t usually give movie advice or critiques. Mostly because I don’t go the movies often enough these days, as I don’t like nine tenths of what is out there to see.
But there is something playing in only forty-seven theatres right now that deserves butts in the seats. It’s called WHIPLASH.
It is a small film; three million dollar budget, no giant stars or exploding universes to be seen. It doesn’t stem from a gothic novel or a children’s book. It’s just a terrific story with amazing performances.
I was on the edge of my seat for much of the film. I screamed out loud at one point. Something I never do in a theatre. I was totally engrossed in every moment of this film, as were Glenn and Lucy.
In fact it’s because of Lucy that we went. She has a crush on the young star Miles Teller. This was news to me; last I heard she was in love with Daniel Radcliffe. But she has divided her affections, so she dragged us to see this film. A film I thought was about a roller coaster. Whiplash. Who knew?
I won’t do a spoiler alert. When I taught screenwriting a formula I used to use to describe how one should structure a protagonist was BLANK will go how far to achieve what. Far has to be far and the strength of your story is what stands in the way of Blank and Blank’s goal.
In this story Blank is Andrew Neyman, played with great authority and depth by Miles Teller. Andrew enrolls in the countries most difficult music school. My guess is the school is a stand in for Julliard. His goal his to be a great drummer, not just great, the greatest,. his devotion knows no bounds. This is a good thing as he is under the tutelage of teacher that uses the same I’m gonna kick your ass until you can’t stand up methodology not seen since Louis Gossett Jr. in OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN
If JK Simmons who plays Fletcher is not nominated for Best Supporting Actor I will, well, what can I do? I will be shocked. That is pretty much all I can be. But I will be. We are coming to the end of the year, so he hopefully has a good shot
But what really needs a shot is small, well made movies with great stories. Movies like Whiplash that was written and directed by the twenty-nine year old Damien Chazelle.
It is hard for most movies to make it, unless they are tent poles or brands; Much less indies that get a release of forty-seven theatres.
I have written movies that played in only forty-seven theatres. It’s virtually impossible to get them enough attention or traction that the theatres will allow them to stay and find their audience.
I sent a friend to see WHIPLASH this week in Chicago. He loved it. He said there were maybe five people at the ten pm showing. Not a good sign.
So if you trust me, and you are in one of the forty-seven theatres where the film is playing – GO SEE IT. I promise you will thank me.
It’s not like when I told you to buy Rimowas. That was a bad call on my part. I will explain next week.
But in the mean time, take two hours and to see Whiplash. If you want them to make movies we want to see we have to go them when they do.