A tremendous short story following a young drummer student locking horns with his sociopathic but passionate mentor.
Andy Neyman is a young student at a prestigious music school studying the art of drums. But when he catches the attention of a notoriously strict but skilled jazz composer named Terence Fletcher, Andy must drastically improve his skills to match the impossible standards asked of him. At the same time he must lock horns with the bull to prove he is capable, risking self destruction along the way.
J.K Simmons has been dominating the media with his performance as Fletcher and with very good reason; the man is a dynamo of emotion and anger towards his students and his presence becomes a force of nature. What seems to at first be quiet, professional precision quickly escalates into a righteous fury, becoming one of the most likeable and utterly unlikeable antagonists in recent cinema, making audiences cringe in dread and laugh simultaneously.
As such a simple film about drumming, a subject I know little about but I have great respect for those musically capable, I wasn’t sure how much I would enjoy the film. But as it stands it is a surprisingly visceral, surprisingly intense and very well realised piece of drama.
I’d highly recommend it to anyone. I do have a soft spot for jazz music, but J.K Simmons and Miles Teller give such powerful performances it is hard to tear your eyes away from it. I have trouble thinking of anything wrong with it.