Whiplash

whiplashI would really like to hear what you think of Whiplash’s final scene.
Does it vindicate Terence Fletcher (J.K. Simmons)?
Has Andrew (Miles Teller) proven he’s a musical genius, hence validating the “ends justify the means” adage?
Does the English language really have no words as harmful as “Good job” ?

24 hours after watching the movie, I am still not at ease.
During the closing seconds, the camera quickly shifts from Fletcher’s to Andrew’s eyes; the former, indicating he is pleased, his hunger for humiliation having finally been sated; the latter, indicating he is fulfilled not at having played the hell out of the drums, but at having made his instructor happy.

Does the film agree with Fletcher’s philosophy that one should push oneself to the brink of insanity in order to achieve greatness?

Surely, most disciplines require a degree of dedication in which it ceases to be fun and becomes increasingly demanding.
Yet I doubt Michael Jordan, Lionel Messi, Roger Federer et al, owe their talent to the methods of dictatorial mentors.

I had heard and read many good things about this picture.
Truly, it’s hard to fault a movie that feels this much alive. The script in particular is so amazing, you can practically imagine Damien Chazelle at his desk every day, having the time of his life writing all of it down.

But after watching it, I am left disturbed.
While I know that in the real world any Fletcher wannabe would quickly end behind bars, I cannot shake the feeling that this movie wanted the audience to go “Huh, maybe a Fletcher is not so bad after all.”
And why wouldn’t we, after such a rousing and spectacular finale?

Because I hope I am wrong on this, I plead one more time:
I would really like to hear what you think of Whiplash’s final scene.

A

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