A film by Damien Chazelle
Cast: Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons, Melissa Benoist
Miles Teller (Andrew Neiman) a 19-year-old jazz drummer who wants to become one of the greatest drummers that ever lived. Andrew studies at an elite music conservatory in New York and is working his way up through the ranks when Terrence (J.K Simmons) comes upon him playing the drums one day. Terrence says very little to Andrew and leaves. Later Terrence invites him to join his class which has the top jazz ensemble in the conservatory, and Andrew’s ego is motoring to where he finally finds the guts to ask out Nicole (Melissa Benoist), the girl who works at the concession stand at his favorite movie theater.
At first Terrence encourages Andrew to let go , enjoy yourself, relax, have fun before the class starts. After the class start Terrence turns into a hard ass son of the bitch as he yelled, insults and troughs a chair at him because he is not on his tempo. Terence is determined to get Andrew there to push him where no man has gone before. As it happens the young man rehearsed day and night to the point that his fingers are bleeding and his sweat falls on his drums like a water fountain. He becomes a great drummer but increasingly difficult to get along with and breaks up with his girlfriend because he thinks it is going to slow him down and won’t be as focus to where he wants to go. It is a very personal story to Damien Chazelle as himself was a drummer living in fear of his teacher because he was afraid to play a false note. Terrific writing there from his part, an intelligent film well casted, and well acted. Terrence has done a great job here as the hard ass, his character is complex and well though out, in an interview he said he loves to play that kind of character. He play it with a military kind of approach and it works. Now is it the best way to teach music to a student , to me there is a fine line here, if you are too nice he or she will not succeed but if you are though enough he or she should get there. But if you are to tough and insult them on the top of that they will hate you and might quit. Like I said there is a fine line. You have to find out what makes the student ticks, what motivate him or her. Great performance by Miles Taylor who knew how to play drums but had to practice for 3 weeks 4 hours a day, to top it all off the film had to be shot in 19 days. On that note we are going out on a bang with this great film on the last day of the year, drum roll please…..