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Whiplash - Film Review

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by Helen Belli (subscribe)
I am now living in Kariong on the Central Coast
Published October 25th 2014
Educating with humilation and fear

'I push people beyond 'great' '. Andrew Neyman aspires to go beyond 'great', to join in a class with his idol drummer, Buddy Rich. He has been accepted into the most prestigious music school in New York. Fletcher is a master teacher who achieves amazing results from pupils. He spots Neyman's potential and invites him to join his elite jazz band. At first he is elated and is led to believe he will be nurtured with encouragement and love. Ten minutes after his first practice, Fletcher makes it perfectly clear how he operates. If this results in emotional distress, then so be it. Total dedication, blood, sweat and tears are demanded by a master who will never say 'good job'.

He isn't the first to apply this method, in the real world Gordon Ramsey, a feisty, over achieving Scotsman, graduates chefs capable of gaining maximum Michelin stars in restaurants throughout the world. In contrast, Dr S. Suzuki in his book, 'Nurtured with love', takes an entirely different approach. The best way to develop greatness is with love and encouragement. None of that for Fletcher. J.K. Simmons is remarkable portraying a man who will not accept mediocrity.

Fletcher maybe bullying and humiliating Andrew Neyman, played by Miles Teller, but he increases his determination to succeed. He forgoes a budding relationship telling his distraught girlfriend he has no time for a social life, his practising would prevent him from being available as often as she would expect. He has a loving father who encourages him but thinks sport would be a better career choice.
You may not feel comfortable, but you will be inspired and exhilarated as Fletcher and Neyman engage in a blood sport called education.

When writer, director, Chazelle, asked pupils at a music school in Manhattan if they thought the bulling by Fletcher was too over the top. They replied it was much worse at their school.

Whiplash is a low budget film set in New York and was filmed in 19 days. It is considered one of the best films of the year and is widely tipped for the 2015 Oscars.
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Where: In cinemas
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