Once a week on Friday, Uncle Bardie celebrates the creativity in others by shining a Spotlight on a movie or a creator. This week’s Spotlight Movie is “Whiplash“ (2014):
Many of us, and that includes me, settle for the mediocre when it comes to our art. We have the potential but we’re not willing to put in the time. We’re just not up to practice, practice, practice. We wait for the inspiration to strike us. As far as the work goes, commitment is not a road we’re willing to travel.
Not so for Andrew (Miles Teller). He doesn’t want to settle for being just another drummer. Drums is his religion and he goes after his art the way some people go after prayer. When Fletcher (R. J. Simmons) to join his class, he thinks he has hit pay dirt. He can’t believe the heaven he’s going to be in.
But Fletcher doesn’t promise Andrew heaven. He doesn’t promise him anything. And he definitely doesn’t promise a “good job.” Instead Fletcher asks a commitment and a perseverance he may not be able to give.
Is Fletcher a great teacher or is he a sadist? That’s for the viewer to decide. But “Whiplash” does make us think about what we haven’t given to our art.