Whiplash Movie Review

Still of Miles Teller in Whiplash (2014)

What breaks? Well if Fletcher is to be believed, ‘nothing’. Nothing can break an artist from becoming more. There are no lines, there are no limits. ‘Good Job’ is false advertising, there’s plenty more where that came from. Potential is screwed if contentment takes house, so screw contentment. Play hard, take pain, sacrifice anything that doesn’t add. That’s what makes. Who bought that? Well, Neimann did.

I do like this movie. The end is ecstatic. It is gripping in a way that makes me a believer of Fletcher’s teaching methodology, like he is responsible, like Niemann’s talent would have gone in wane if wasn’t for Fletcher’s insistence on pushing the envelope. It’s almost like ‘end justifies means’. Although, this part I don’t agree with.

It is hard to digest that such inconsiderate behavior would be toleratemv5bmtu4otq3mduymv5bml5banbnxkftztgwota2mju0mje-_v1_uy1200_cr8906301200_al_d in one of the premier institutes of the country. It is also maddening of Fletcher to push every one of his students beyond their threshold in search of the next Charlie Parker. His intentions are understandable but its the method he employs that bothers me. Definitely should not be teacher. But if Neimann is the student, the relationship kinda sticks. For the specifics of this dynamic, Fletcher is the necessary evil. Might as well believe it given the whole movie is skewed towards it.

In the first scene itself, Fletcher is established as a top dog, and Niemann knows. If it weren’t for his incessant quest for validation, the master would have had little effect. Their relationship works because they yearn for the same, excellence. Andrew Niemann wants to be remembered, be the greatest musician and Fletcher embodies an understanding of what that entails. He is so fixated on his goal that Fletcher’s tantrums, be it hurling insults, personal and racist, do not deter him away. His devotion was almost believable until he gave up on drumming after expulsion. It kind of reinforces the master’s role in his quest. The elation at the end is only matched by Niemann’s smile after Fletcher’s endorsement, a nod, the only proof he ever desired to affirm that he has made it.

J. K. Simmons does a terrific job. His dialogues are a treat, no matter how vile, they are spot on. The alpha male portrayal of his is strengthened by one sided repartee. Miles Teller is at his best here. His earlier roles have been on lighter note but he did not seem out of place here, totally owned it. This is a terrific piece of work by Damien Chazelle. It is not about Jazz. I am too inept to understand anyways. It is about what it takes to reach the pinnacle of this nasty business as they say. Its brutal and its not for everybody. The end I cannot forget, you’d have to see for yourself to feel the energy. I kinda like caravan better. Totally my tempo. Good Job.

All Nerves, No Game

T 20 World Cup India vs Bangladesh

“Things have a tendency to go south if you believe they will.”

That’s probably what happened to Bangladesh in the last over. Needing 2 runs of 3 balls to going nowhere. That is just losing nerves. Superb last ball, an elegant sprint and hat-trick of wickets had all the nerves. However, it was never India; they did not do it right this game. Batsmen did not flow, bowlers found hard to contain and fielders just could not hold on. It was mayhem. From being the favorites, to struggling against Bangladesh, in their own backyard seems hard to digest. “What the margin of win will be?”, was the only question any Indian was asking, because nobody thought it be 1 run. It was at best an attempt to better Net run rate. It was indeed the best of games for cricket fans and thanks to the result, Indian Cricket Team may be spared of widespread criticism but they sure deserve it.

“Form is temporary, class is permanent.” No one argues there but a comfortable win asks of both. Indian Cricket Team is capable, that’s class but they seem jittery on the form front. It makes me skeptical on their chances to win World Cup T20. If it weren’t for Kohli and Dhoni, they’d trail. I came across an insightful article that talks of Form and how to sustain it. If instincts can translate to measured performance. With enough analytics pressing the game, preparation is to capitalize on strengths and circumvent weakness, to be aware and exploit, to practice towards its realization. Form is identified over a period and for this period “T20WC”, we are short on Form and need it badly.

Openers in general are hard hitting batsmen, more into boundaries, kind of short on time. Sehwag come to mind. This T20WC, they have either gone early or just sacrificed on run rate, there exists little timing or conviction against good bowling attack. That’s worrying given it has been 3 games already and the saga continues. Kohli is a great Number 3 but how much dependent do you wanna be and bet a win on his performance every single game. Raina and Yuvraj entice us with their potential but I hope we see it soon. I see them contribute but they are not convincing enough. Dhoni down the order is a glimmer of hope and we need it much. Don’t expect much of Pandya and Jadeja, they just push the agenda, it isn’t coming since few matches from the top order. On the bowling front, Bumrah is good find and he continues to impress. We were never a great seam attack so never have I ever been unreal, but its good to know that we have been clinical given Indian Team has been the most economical this year. Ashwin’s spell was a treat to watch in the game versus Bangladesh. Jadeja is impressive and quite productive. Fielding has become our forte and it is perfectly acceptable to drop a few if you don’t make a habit of it.

In the shorter format, you have little time to settle, you are expected to go big very soon but does come with a silver lining that even one partnership is enough many a times. The current Indian Team is apt on paper but it is failing on field. Is it fare to expect a T20WC from them on those lines? They did do it in Australia and Asia Cup, but what keeps us hoping that they continue? If it were left to their form, I wouldn’t bet on it. But it isn’t the form, is it? It is their class, their potential, that keeps us at it.

I do hope they are preparing enough to that end. They for sure need it.

Like Crazy Movie Review


The movie probably intends to make a believer out of you. That soul-mates do exist and once you find yours, no amount of likability you ever encounter will amount to true love again. It tries real hard to stick to that part, for even Jennifer Lawrence could not sway Jacob away. Well, jokes apart, I did like the movie, especially the actors and acting bit. They seem authentic even though the plot meddles a lot with it. It feels ordinary and like a dream at the same time. The longing silence and unassuming plot are a refreshing change. That’s why it excels.

I am still stuck on the title though. 15 minutes into the movie, we find it inscribed under a chair. Her writing and his receptiveness, does compel us to believe that there is a spiritual connection, far from mere crush. The title fits but after she leaves and is unable to come back, it is not crazy at all. The decisions, whether to continue with their respective careers, finding a partner in the interim, for Jacob to not move to London and their inevitable fight, were all well within reason, somehow pushing towards realism, not crazy. It is not hard to imagine that they would have parted ways if it weren’t for timely rectification of her visa issues.

I find the movie more artsy than reality. It takes liberty in a way, shies away from third party interactions but Anna’s parents did manage to cut into it. It feels plain and raw, the interpretations are our own, they do not stem from the movie, the characters have no say. It’s like two teenagers in their love bubble who face consequences yet are shielded from public opinions. They show considerable maturity in taking decisions yet lack resolve to not comply to visa norms. The other problem is lack of seriousness. Yes, we get that they are passionate but you get married, have a fight and roll back to Simon and Sam. Now, that is crazy. Serious relationship conversations are not much explored but the end does justice to this scarcity. The union for sure is not joyous but it is aching for happiness. The unresolved does make it so but our hope lies in fragments of past that echo happiness and in knowing that they have found each other.

With all its faults, it does make for a good movie, a romantic one at that. I am partial towards Felicity Jones, so that helps. By all means, immerse yourselves in this indie love drama, it is innocent and infectious, it be rude not to.

Concussion Movie Review


It would be fair to say that Concussion is more about Dr. Bennet Omalu and his discovery than it is about football, its players and their concussion. Any glimpse of football was probably players bashing their heads. Any glimpse of a player was probably his suffering. The mere objective was, “they have to know” and the man to make it happen was Dr. Omalu.

The movie has been consistent on its objective front. It is an outside perspective but an American one. Add science to that perspective and comes forth a Nigerian pathologist who wants America to know that their favorite game is killing their players. The favorite part did help NFL sway people in believing he was non-American and thus an outsider. He probably realised that having a TV set is the same kind of American who’d deny accepting the problem just for the fancy of the game, and he did depart from that idea of America. The idea was to let them know, but he lost that battle. The truth did come out and since he had sowed the seed, he was the voice.

The quote from the movie does summarize it perfectly,

By dying, they speak for the living.
And I speak for them.
That is all I do.

The movie was pleasant. The performance of Will Smith was admirable. The accent perhaps takes the cake. The script did make him the ultimate geek, be it his numerous degrees or his devotion to theoretical explanations. However it lacks drama, rather it was mellow, seemed like a way of life. The threatening NFL was short on the corporate villain. Prema was just a comforting voice and their love marriage seemed arranged by church.

If you were expecting something more than “just knowing”, you’d be dissapointed. It fails to break free into full blown war between NFL and Omalu, even though it was hinted at by Dr. Bailes. His wife, Prema’s miscarriage after being stalked has little back story and that in addition to FBI invading his boss, was too fast paced for him having left town. There were too many jokes in there to seriously reach that conclusion. Plus, Dr. Omalu’s voice probably did not even go above 70 decibel in the entire movie, or may be it did when he was tearing through that wall.

The saving grace has been its true nature allegedly. It is consistent in its approach. The TRUTH was realised and he came out an AMERICAN. “Let’s solve the problem” was overshadowed by “tell the truth”. It was never about football, but more to do with Dr. Omalu. If you can stomach that you football fanatics, you have a chance at liking this movie but I am not promising anything.

A Child


Little, immature spaces
in otherwise staid timeline
forgetting life a while
cocooned with felicity
I play a child.

Denounce, stark eyed
they concede improper and inane
grown-up going offhand
brush off, regardless
I play a child.

Elfin, naivete soul
spurting glimmer in adulthood
hidden fragments in us all
but only to few buddying benevolent
I play a child.

More poems await you at dVerse OLN hosted by Grace