For quite some time I attempted a 7-movies-in-7-days challenge. What's challenging about that, I hear you think, but I am talking about 7 movies at the cinema and the real challenge is that, so far, I did not get 7 I wanted to see one after the other. I got close at some point in October, after a tragic summer, and once again this week I am failing after a mere three. But the third one I watched last night, Whiplash, truly is worth telling you about.
It is one of those rare movies that, while tackling passion, rolls naivity, excess, commitment, maturity and immaturity all into one. The last one to do all of this to any degree of depth was Walk The Line, it too, and I find this significant, on a musical backdrop. Say what you will my reader, no book will make you feel as good as fast as a wonderful piece of music can. It's its immediacy above all that hits heart and soul at the same time and that sets it apart from all other art forms.
But interestingly, I found that Whiplash isn't strictly a movie about music. It's a movie about the burning desire to be great, for sure, but mostly it's about our need for self-validation throughout life which, and this is the crucial, painful point, depends on others. It is not enough to know of your greatness, it must be recognised by others. In fact, some would say that it is impossible to self-validate without others' recognition of our abilities.
Of course, I did think in places that no school on earth would allow Fletcher's behaviour for a day, let alone for years, and that was probably the only strident element of this movie, but I found it easy to suspend disbelief on this element, for it was overshadowed by Andrew's sickening idealism and, up to a point, self-centredness. It was quite wonderful to witness his explosive mix of immaturity and passion and I felt that the movie ended not simply on the right note but at the right time too because, quite frankly, I don't want to know what happens to Andrew when he hits the real world (and vice-versa). Go and see it; as enriched as it is by the wonderful perfomances of J.K. Simmons and Miles Teller, I know you will love it.