Its been interesting reading from some critics and drummers (mostly Jazz artistes) who have had a word to say about Whiplash the movie. I think they are looking at it all wrong.
There are criticisms about the abusive main character for one thing. Maybe its true that Jazz musicians are too free spirited to allow an abusive man like that and maybe nobody exists like that. They also criticise the fact the young lads hero is Buddy Rich but how can Buddy be an inspiration when he was a techno whizz showboat and tv personality and therefore not a great jazz inspiration?!!
I’m totally at odds with all that. Firstly it’s a drama. Did anyone imply it’s was a documentary and would that be anywhere near as entertaining? I think the way the character behaved was obviously awful and abusive but the film to me was about ultimate dedication and a want to succeed. I don’t see the problem with Buddy Rich being an influence either. It doesn’t matter who your influence is so long as it drives you. He wasn’t trying to be Buddy. Another drummer in the film was trying to be a techno whizz and was blasted out of the way in the end. It’s the first time I’ve heard Buddy as not being a good influence to Jazz. Very odd. I’ve seen some performances that were quite restrained actually, for example the West side story show.
Anyway, I would personally highly recommend this film. Great drama and a good story about dedication to an art.