ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Whiplash: Yes I Would Like to Watch the Rest of the Film Please!

Updated on August 17, 2018
Lorato Phefo profile image

Lorato is a screenwriter who is obsessed with movies that are well written. Don't laugh but I have watched some movies more than 10 times ;)


(Spoiler Alert!!!)

I don’t like jazz! BUT I repeated this film a couple of times. This was not because I did not understand something, but because I couldn’t get enough of it. It is not just the music that got me for the first time, it is the whole composition, the writing, the acting, the directing, the cinematography, and everything works together in perfect harmony.

The writing of the film keeps you captivated from beginning to end. 2:42 Minutes into the movie with opening credits included, we already know what Andrew Nieman’s goal is to get into Fletcher’s band. He heard that he was looking for players and he went for it. In this very short time, we learn the kind of a person Fletcher is and the dialogue is concise, impeccable and filled with lots of subtext. (See the opening scene pictures attached)

Now this is some opening! It starts with the inciting incident. Andrew gets a mini audition for Fletcher and ‘unimpressed’ he shut the door on him. What is he going to do? In this very small space of time, we already know that Fletcher is an abusive conductor, he just called him a monkey, and this kind of language and insult is what he carries out throughout the film. By reading the first two pages of the film and by watching the first 2 minutes of the film, you already know your decision to continue with the film or not. Now in screenwriting, you are often told that the first 10 pages will make the reader to continue reading or not. Whiplash makes that decision very easy in just TWO! The characters are both very strong. The goal is established. The conflict is clear.

In this review I would like to focus exclusively on the characters and the writing. The film looks at two completely different and conflicting characters with the same goal- BEING THE BEST IN THE MUSIC SCENE. Their ideas of the phenomena are however, completely different. Fletcher is the leading conductor at Shaffer Conservatory where his band comprises of only the best. He is rude, emotionally and psychologically abusive, self-absorbed, and punctual. He is an extremely organized man who seemingly cares only about winning. He is willing to step on everyone’s toes to attain his goal.

The film makes use of very subtle subtexts to reveal his character. When Fletcher invites the 19 year old Andrew to his band practice for the first time he tells him that it starts at 6am and that he shouldn’t be late. Andrew wakes up at 6:03 and he does not even consider brushing his teeth. He runs like a maniac to the studio only to find that the practice starts at 9am. When the clock hits exactly 9am, Fletcher enters the studio, not a second later. This idea of time, in a form of tempo drives the whole film. Fletcher has a sharp ear and he can hear if a particular individual is out of tune or is not playing to the right tempo. And tempo/time is what carries the conflict. Andrew has to fight to be in Fletcher’s tempo if he wants to remain the core drummer in the band or otherwise he will be paging the music score for another drummer forever.

Andrew on the other hand, goes to Shaffer with his main goal being to be part of Fletcher’s leading band in the city and most probably in the world. He is a talented drummer, who is naive, competitive and willing to do anything to win Fletcher’s approval of him.

Both Andrew and Fletcher are strong characters from beginning to end.

Often times in screenwriting, you are told that characters need to undergo transformation in the film; that they should have changed by the end of the film. However, in Fletcher’s case, he gets you fooled for a moment where you sincerely believe that being fired from the studio has made him a better person when he meets Andrew for the first time since their last fight which ended up with Andrew being kicked out of Shaffer. Here, Fletcher invites Andrew to come play with him at his next performance where the key people in the industry will be present. This seemingly is Fletcher looking for a fresh start and giving Andrew another chance. At this point, Andrew had put music behind him and had put away everything music in his life. But again, a big part of him needs Fletcher’s approval that he is the best drummer. By the end of the film, you find out that Fletcher did not change at all. The film ends with him being the same schemer, who is self-absorbed, and conniving as he was in the beginning.

Andrew has become more mature by the end of the film. How he handles Fletcher’s blow is completely different. By the end he has learned to fight and prove that Fletcher is not the person who has his future in his hand. For the first time, he is in control and there is nothing Fletcher can do about it but follow Andrew’s lead. Earlier in the film when Fletcher screwed him up, Andrew resolved the conflict but by the end, he learns to let music fight for him. He goes head to head with Fletcher and would not let him take the opportunity to be the best drummer in the world from him again.

In conclusion, Whiplash is one of the well-crafted films in the industry. It has strong characters with powerful dialogue lines. The conflict is great from beginning to end. It is captivating, it is moving emotionally, it is great writing overall.



    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)