A young jazz drummer pushes himself to achieve greatness under the tutelage of a cutthroat mentor.
With this film’s basis being in music and the pursuit of greatness, when I first heard that this film had been released I didn’t feel as if I would be able to identify with the film in any way seeing as my music background is zilch.
J.K Simmons was fantastic as Andrew (Miles Teller)’s mentor Fletcher. He is ferociously brilliant and he is truly terrifying in equal measure. However, when rare shreds of humanness filtered through you wonder how long it would last. However, when he justifies his reasons to Andrew, his reasoning seems entirely logical. This makes the characterization of Fletcher quite problematic.
I am not familiar with Tellar’s acting but after watching this movie I will certainly seek out more of his work. He is first shown to be incredibly human and shatters initially under Fletcher’s criticism but over the film’s duration his ambition to be the best drives him over the edge and his ambition forces him to push away those closest to him.
The cinematography is brilliant, and the editing is dizzyingly fast but this works in the film’s favour. The film feels raw and very shocking. It certainly doesn’t pull any punches, especially in the scene where Andrew battles through the pain of injuries sustained in a car accident in order to play his part onstage during a show.
I wish I’d watched this film when it first came out instead of waiting till now. All of those involved were very brilliant and I enjoyed it despite having no background in music or performance. To top it off, the drum solo at the end was fantastic.
MY RATING: **** / *****