In life, everything has a price. No film demonstrates this better than Whiplash does. The latter is emblematic of struggle since it proves the hardships that musicians face in the course of their greatness. It is symbolic of how people throw in the towel early instead of withstanding the test of time. Besides this film is more of a motivational success story of a dream come true. To gain a critical understanding of the essential elements existent within this film, it will be established how music is used in the movie. Besides this, the overall view of musicians and the struggle they undergo will also be addressed along with the message that the film seeks to communicate with musicians. Finally, whether or not the movie is about jazz is also another element that aims to be addressed.
How is music used in this film?
It is expected that coming up with a film overture requires a perfect rendition that the music in the film readily provides. The three-minute instrumental jazz music accomplishes all this. The idea that the film was on a tight budget brought the light the utilization of `When I Wake` a popular 1930`s tune to accentuate Teller`s character (Lindebaum & Courpasson, 2017). Further still, the ancient Jazz classics are used to develop the plot of the film, especially when revealing the cruel nature of Simmons` character when playing the role of the Jazz instructor (Lindebaum & Courpasson, 2017).
How are the musicians portrayed? Are they struggling artists? Are they misunderstood geniuses? Are they troubled addicts?
What Whiplash depicts regarding Jazz music is a bit far from what is expected in modern-day reality. According to the film, musicians are portrayed as people who end up being successful after the display of a single dominant performance. Initially, the artists have to struggle, but constant persistence later yields benefits. This can be observed from Parker who is initially made the laughing stock leading him to "woodshed" and come back a year later more rejuvenated (Lindebaum & Courpasson, 2017). The movie shows exactly how a great artist ought to be molded.
What is the movie trying to communicate or express about jazz music or musicians?
It goes without saying that music is soothing to the heart. Whiplash uses Jazz music as one of the many languages of music to reach out to the audience. The film attempts to display the beauty and splendor visible in Jazz music. It is a revelation of the journey musicians undergo along with the many challenges in the course of their lives before they accomplish their primary goal. According to the movie, Jazz focuses on improvisation to communicate the intended message (Lindebaum & Courpasson, 2017). Besides, there is an attempt by the film to show that musicians are forced by circumstances happening in their lives to succeed.
Is the movie about jazz, or does it simply use it for special effect?
People who are well accustomed to Jazz music may appear particularly disconcerted by the film since it is not actually about Jazz music. The utilization of Jazz within the film is only meant to add a taste of authenticity in its plot. The film is instead mainly concerned with the exemplification of the challenges that many of the musicians are faced with in the course of their careers. The film is meant to offer encouragement to this group of people. Further still, this movie is intended to show people that they can succeed in anything that they wish to so long as they persist and remain true to their course.
Despite the constant criticism leveled against Whiplash, there is no doubt that the film is indeed one of the best depictions of how sweet success can be after the relentless determination. The movie encompasses Jazz music throughout its plot, though this is not necessarily what it is focused on. The music is used to offer an authentic nature while also displaying the struggles that musicians undergo in the course of their careers. The film is an instrument of encouragement to all those who are experiencing challenges, showing them that they are capable of overcoming all their shortcomings. It can be concluded that Whiplash is a beautiful film that idealizes the lives of musicians and teaches a valuable lesson on how to embrace life.
Lindebaum, D., & Courpasson, D. (2017). Becoming the next Charlie Parker: Rewriting the role of passions in bureaucracies with whiplash. Academy of Management Review, amr-2017.
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