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By on March 11, 2015

whiplashJK Simmons won an Oscar for his role in this film and it’s easy to see why. His character Fletcher owns the scene every time he enters the room, and for an actor to command that kind of presence is incredible. That’s not to take away from Andrew (Miles Teller) who goes from shy to cocky to disappointed to confident without ever missing a trick – he’s a joy to watch and expertly takes us through the movie and creates a character we both admire and sometimes despise, yet undoubtedly seem to root for.

The main success here is not only the acting, but the editing and the director’s clear vision to make the music visceral and physical. Beats, splashes, kicks and more are depicted with incredible craftsmanship and put together in a way that not only compliments the songs but the playing involved. Never are you bored and the tension you feel along with Miles is palpable in not only every scene but almost every shot.

It also makes you question your own beliefs. Is Fletcher a bully or is he, as he believes he is, pushing people past their limits and creating legends? There are arguments for both, and maybe you believe both, but you will swing from one to the other so frequently it’s hard to keep track.

It’s very well written without an ounce of fat, and a film I would easily watch again and again. It makes the hairs on my arm stand up as I watch it, and it’s a film that you should probably have a half decent sound system for if you can’t watch it on the cinema. Lit like a David Fincher film, edited like an action film and yet a hugely compelling drama at the same time.

A great film and a great watch.

Rating: 9/10

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