*** DISCLAIMER*** Upon watching this film, I took to writing down my immediate thoughts. It is not, in any way, a review, but an insight to my thought processes when enjoying film. It is not edited, simply copied. I do encourage anyone wishing to watch the films I review to watch them for yourselves first. If you’re looking for reason to watch it, check out the 94% given by Rotten Tomatoes, or other reviewers. Please watch the film first. Otherwise the whole point of sharing opinions is lost, and you won’t truly appreciate what I have written. ***
Remember what I was saying about true immersion, and how rare it is? I give you Whiplash. Now, I know I am tremendously late to the game on this. In fact, I wanted to see it when it came out. Then, around six months ago, I bought it on DVD. I’ve only just watched it.
Oh. My. God. Oh. My. ARSING. GOD!
Do excuse me, I have razor rash on my armpits. I was watching the film in the bath, you see. Now, I haven’t gotten razor rash in about three years. IMMERSION! I don’t know if it was the hot bath or the film that had my heard pounding like a kick-drum, but I’ll tell you what: it was the only sound I could make. Thump-thump-thump-thump, trying so hard to match the film’s signature.
Not a lot happens in Whiplash. Maybe it’s because I’ve just watched it for the first time, but I’m pretty sure not a lot happens. And I like that. I mean, sure, there’s drumming peppered with bits of story here and there, but I think that’s what’s beautiful about it. Drumming, peppered with the mundane and the ordinary of life, of anything that isn’t drumming. What a beautiful and honest portrayal of the truest feelings of a musician. Of Andrew Neiman.
(I currently have ice wrapped in a tea towel wedged beneath each armpit to ensure I can keep writing because it is vital that I explain my thoughts immediately.)
Now, I will watch this film again, and I will analyse it thoroughly and probably be able to give you a 4000 word essay on the film, but the first viewing is for how it feels. And I came away feeling fucking amazing. I came away swearing, exclaiming, thinking it over in my head, trying to soak it all up.
There are about 7 or 8 characters that actually matter in this story, purely by their presence. There are only three that are not interchangeable. Any by that, what I mean is, you could put many different kinds of character in place of most of them. The band members don’t matter, their personal stories are irrelevant. They do not have to be specific people for the story to work just as wonderfully. They are interchangeable. Imagine Harry Potter. Nearly every character mentioned in all seven books and eight films is important. Luna Lovegood HAS to be Luna. At no point can she be replaced, not even for a moment, not if you want to have the same effect. The same with Mrs Weasley. You couldn’t pick her up halfway through and not expect everyone to notice, because they would. Whiplash is the opposite in this regard. There are seven or eight characters of any real importance in the story, and only three HAVE to be what they are for the story to be what it is. Now, this isn’t a big cast, not by any means, but I truly believe that only pure brilliance can take a whole cast of talented actors, put them on a screen and only allow three of them to matter. I’m not going to tell you which three. You can figure that out of yourself. Or maybe you won’t. Maybe you disagree. That’s cool. You do you. Or maybe you don’t see anything in it at all. That’s fine too. Maybe you see an okay film with cool music but not a lot really happens and then, well the ending’s a bit shit, why did it have to be so abrupt? He plays the drums then the end? What up with that?
*Deep breath* That’s fine. *Deep breath* You don’t have to see it. Because I’ll see it for you. I’ll see that it ends because it doesn’t matter what happens next. If you’re expecting Fletcher to run to Neiman, clap him on the back and say “Good job, son, you did me proud”, then what the hell were you doing for the last 90 minutes? Are you serious?! Films this good are wasted on people who sit there waiting for cliches. It finishes there because not to do so would be a waste of time.
The time is 1:16:42am. I have written three sides of A4 on a film I just saw because I had to. This is the standard to which I will keep, because this is how truly excellent films make me feel. I want to cry as I write this because, no matter what may happen in my life, I know that I have film to turn to. I have this art form to show me what can be done in a world of hatred and anger and selfishness. Today, well yesterday I guess, I read a post on Facebook which repulsed me. A girl who went to join IS is feared dead. A girl, persuaded to do what she thought to be right is feared dead. This did not make me sick to my stomach. The few words of the post in which it was shared did that:
“Feared dead? Well good riddance.”
A comment below read something along the lines of:
“there’s two more girls gone. Let’s hope they went with her”
I don’t know what was written word for word because I don’t dare look for the post as I may wage full and unmerciful war upon two young men who probably have no idea that they have wished death upon three young women.
What the actual fuck? I am glad to have film to remove me temporarily from this world. I hope you have something too. Please expect a full review on Whiplash to come, one that is a reflection on my writing and reviewing skills, and not just raw emotion.
Keep doing that awesome thing that you do, cause I love it, and I’ll catch you later.
Oh look. Two 6-year-old girls were sexually assaulted at LEGOLAND. *sigh*