Super brilliant and intense from start to finish. I absolutely loved this film, it was just stunning. Inspiring performances from both Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons. The film was nominated for 5 Oscars and won 3 out of the 5 which is pretty good going. As the film was popular in award season and I’ve read a lot about it, I’ve been meaning to see it for a while now but never got round to it. I’m so glad I watched it though because it’s a film that I will never forget.
The film is about the relationship between an ambitious student (Teller) studying music and an abusive teacher (Simmons). Throughout the film you see Andrew (Teller) work harder and harder to please the teacher by hitting the drums faster making his hands bleed. The abuse is mostly psychological but sometimes physical. The physical abuse happens a couple of times, there’s a scene where the teacher throws a chair at him which he manages to dodge and there’s a scene where the teacher doesn’t like tempo that he’s playing the drums so starts slapping him until he gets it right. Psychological abuse scenes were when the teacher wanted him to play the drums faster so start screaming at him and forcing him to keep playing faster and faster.
Miles Teller is outstanding. I’ve been a fan of his since I first saw him in the remake of footloose. His character in that was so funny. This is the first time however, that I have seen him in a role as serious as this. One of the awards that the film won at the Oscars was for J.K. Simmons performance and he definitely deserved it. His performance was chilling. You can’t help but undergo a range of emotions while watching these remarkable actors at their very best.
Another award it won was for its editing and understandably so. It was quirky and fast. It built the intensity of the scene with fast and quick shots. I particularly love the scene where he’s playing the drums so fast that the camera shakes between his two hands focusing on where he’s hitting the drums. It’s beautiful to watch.
The ending was superb so don’t continue reading if you haven’t seen the film. There wasn’t any closure to the story but that didn’t matter because the ending was so intense with the most gripping climax you’ll ever see. I’ve never seen anything like it, my jaw was literally on the floor, the drumming at the end was just magnificent. The final Oscar that the film won was for sound mixing and that was definitely deserved. The soundtrack was just insane, I’ve never heard drumming like this before, not close up anyway.
I can see why the film might not be everyone’s cup of tea but I thoroughly enjoyed it and would definitely watch it again. I do believe it was one of the best films to be released last year and wish I’d seen it sooner.