“Whiplash” is a film about the “American dream” and at the same time about the “American tragedy”. He talks about how to achieve the goal, and at the same time criticizes the “success-oriented” society.
The point of the film Whiplash is that sometimes a person combines genius and villainy in an amazing way. What is more in it is another question.
What is the movie Whiplash about
The film “Whiplash” tells the story of a talented conservatory student who aspires to become a great musician. However, he falls under the influence of the despotic conductor Fletcher, who works with people on the principle of “there are two opinions: mine and the wrong one” and uses cruel and humiliating methods to create geniuses.
Andrew is a silent, slightly autistic, but very hardworking and talented young man. One of the main features of his character is the refusal to compromise in creativity. He knows perfectly well that every compromise he makes moves him away from his dream of becoming great.
Andrew is driven and talented. And yet he is selfish and, to put it mildly, not the most pleasant person. Of course, it can be objected that none of the great geniuses was a darling. This is true, but between those who love art in themselves and those who love themselves in art, there is still a thin but clear line …
A young man dreams of studying with the best teacher. In general, absolutely everyone wants to learn from him, despite his bad character. But the choice of Fletcher, who is recruiting drummers for his orchestra, falls on Andrew, although he is far from enthusiastic about the young man’s playing. There is no explanation for this. But that is how the story of their strange relationship begins.
Teacher and pupil
After numerous rehearsals, the young musician gets what he wants – the position of the first drummer. Success turns his head, he breaks off relations with his girlfriend and moves away from his family.
In the evenings, he diligently rehearses, ignoring student parties. He has no friends, but Andrew is not worried about this, and easily “lets go” of all the opportunities that he considers useless. He knows exactly what he wants, and does not mindlessly adapt to circumstances and teachers. He is sure that conciliation is the way to mediocrity. The young man does not spare himself when they yell at him and even beat him: he is sure that this brings up his character.
One day, late for a concert, he gets into an accident. Despite his terrible condition, he does not go to the hospital, but to the performance, risking setting up the whole orchestra.
The consequences of the accident do not allow the guy to show a more or less sane game at the performance. This causes a hard breakdown, and, as a result, expulsion from the conservatory. Andrew’s musical career ends before it even started.
Six months later, life again brings the student and mentor together. As it turned out, Fletcher no longer teaches at the conservatory, and the anonymous message about the cruelty of the formidable conductor was to blame.
The meeting unexpectedly ends with a friendly invitation from the ex-teacher to play together. Andrew understands that some higher power gives him a second chance, and he is not going to miss it: Fletcher calls him not just anywhere, but to a special concert in front of a special audience, and offers to play familiar compositions.
The character of the protagonist is shaded (or mirrored) by other characters who are related either to self-realization or to creativity. Almost all of them, for one reason or another, did not succeed in their business. For example, Father Andrew is a writer who has gone into teaching. Despite the fact that he became the teacher of the year, he still did not realize himself in his work.
The girl of the protagonist, Nicole, entered the university, but did not choose her future profession. When Andrew asks her why she entered there, the answer was brilliant: “They just took me there.”
Among Andrew’s competitors there are very bright students who have their own set of qualities that prevented them from succeeding in the profession.
Andrew’s relatives are not particularly enthusiastic about his successes. Moreover, no one takes seriously what he does. By the way, this is the eternal problem of all creative people. The father of the great Handel once said to his son: “Get busy! You can play music at your leisure.” Approximately the same attitude towards musicians (some even go so far as not to consider that a musician is the same profession) is observed in Andrew’s family – and in society as a whole now.
In some episodes of the film “Whiplash”, characters appear who manifest what can happen to Andrew if he does not achieve his goal – whether it’s Nicole’s mother, who dreamed of becoming an actress, but said goodbye to her dream, or an uninteresting street musician, or one of Fletcher’s students, whose fate was even more tragic.
The main idea of the film “Whiplash” is emphasized in all reviews and analysis. There is no hidden meaning in the picture. The main idea is that in order to achieve the goal, you need to give everything and even a little more. Only such a person can achieve success and become a true creator.
In order for the viewer to understand the meaning of the film, a whole figurative series was created that illustrates the expression “sweat and blood.” The director persistently focuses the viewer’s attention on Andrew’s bloody hands, and on the sweat that pours down his face.
Talent needs to be realized. There are many capable people who do nothing and bury their gift in the ground. It is safe to say that they are unhappy – and that is why. When a person knows for sure that he can, but does nothing, this gives rise to an inexplicable feeling of anxiety in him, which develops into a general dissatisfaction with life.
There can be no other interpretations here: “Whiplash” is a fairly simple film. We can say that this movie is a guide for those who want to succeed in their profession, because an outstanding result is only 10% of talent and 90% of perseverance and hard work.
The film especially sunk into the soul of creative people precisely because of its harsh content. This movie completely refutes some of the stereotypes associated with creativity.
One of the stereotypes looks like this: if you enter a prestigious orchestra (theater, university), you will be successful in any case. Nothing like this. In any case, a person will have to prove every day that he is worthy of his place. Moreover, all efforts do not guarantee that you will not be thrown out into the street after the first failure.
The second stereotype has set the teeth on edge to all sane people. It sounds like this: talent will always find its way. This is also not true. For one talented person, there will always be a hundred mediocrities who will devour you thanks to their hard work and ability to break through.
The third stereotype also breaks (which is why the content of the picture, especially towards the end, became quite gloomy), which sounds like this: “Love will give you inspiration, and the family will definitely support you.” It will not happen. Relationships are very time consuming and family will never support your desire to die young but great.
The explanation for the success of the film “Whiplash” is as follows: it “chews” in detail the topic of realization in the profession that is relevant today. In addition, Andrew still achieves his goal, and steps over his own capabilities. And that’s all we all would like.
The meaning of the ending
At all times, revenge has been a cold dish that has had time to cool down and infuse, requiring no arguments or justifications. Toward the end of the film, Fletcher uttered a line that puzzled many viewers. Literally, he asked: “Do you think I’m a moron?”, Forcing the young man to open his mouth in amazement and freeze in one place, like an idol.
Closer to the finale, it turns out that the stubborn conductor, after being fired from the conservatory due to Andrew’s anonymous testimony, lost a lot. He perfectly understood who had denounced him, and decided to take revenge – to set up his former student in front of the “respectable public”.
The compositions turn out to be far from as familiar as Andrew thought. Moreover, he understands that it is impossible to leave on one improvisation in such a situation. Realizing that this was really the end of his entire career, the young musician left the stage.
But not forever.
The fact is that in Andrew (as in Fletcher) both “Mozart” and “Salieri” miraculously coexisted. Deeply stressed, he returned to the stage and suddenly caught the courage. The ending of the film is almost Hollywood: Andrew impressed not only the audience, but also his ex-mentor. Probably no other explanation of the ending is needed here.
The deep meaning of this picture lies in the title itself, but not in the translation, but in the original. “Whiplash” literally means “Whiplash”. This refers to that stick from the gingerbread, which acts much more efficiently than this very gingerbread …
The meaning of the film is not how important it is to realize one’s talent, and not even how a person needs willpower: the picture tells about the cruel and senseless struggle of two egos.
The meaning of the ending of the film “Whiplash” is that the conflict is resolved here not because one of the parties won, but because both antagonists were able to step over their egos in the name of what they both loved more than anything in the world.
Music won in the end.