The Intense Streaming Drama That Will Give You PTSD

By TeeJay Small | Published

Movies have always had the power to inspire great feelings of personal resonance from viewers across the world, making us all laugh, cry, and seethe with rage when crafted with care.

In the case of one 2014 film, fans around the globe have continued to return despite the upsetting subject matter, because the movie is truly perfect down to the writing, casting, performances, and direction. The film in question is 2014’s Whiplash, which is currently available to stream through Amazon Prime Video.

Whiplash Is Hard To Watch

jk simmons

Whiplash began as a short film written and directed by La La Land filmmaker Damien Chazelle, based loosely on his own experience in an incredibly competitive high school jazz band. After premiering the 18-minute short to audiences at the Sundance Film Festival, Chazelle was given the opportunity to expand the project into a feature film. The completed film stars legendary character actor JK Simmons alongside Miles Teller, with a number of real jazz musicians rounding out the ensemble.

A Familiar Experience For Musicians

jk simmons

The plot of Whiplash centers on a young man named Andrew Neiman, who aspires to be the greatest jazz drummer of his time, no matter the personal or financial cost. While practicing his craft, Neiman is approached by Terence Fletcher, the legendary conductor of the Shaffer Conservatory Studio Band, and asked to join as an understudy to the main drummer.

Neiman is thrilled at first but quickly learns that Fletcher is an abusive maniac towards his students, screaming obscenities at the top of his lungs multiple times per session and even tossing the occasional chair at his students’ heads.

The Line Between Genius And Insanity

jk simmons

Over the course of the film, Fletcher plays intense mind games with his students, demanding the absolute best that they can offer, and pushing them to their breaking point at all turns. If you were in college when Whiplash premiered, like I was, then you’re already aware of the repeated refrain “That’s not my f***ing tempo” from Fletcher, which was shouted through the halls and lobbies of college campuses everywhere for years following the release of this film.

As the narrative continues, Neiman submits to Fletcher’s every whim, eventually throwing away his own relationships, scholastic endeavors, and money-making opportunities to obsess freakishly over his drum skills.

The Struggle To Be The Greatest

I won’t spoil the ending of the film, but suffice is to say, things get pretty ugly. While we’d all like to believe that the abuse depicted in Whiplash is absurd to the point of being cartoonish, the truth of the matter is that many music students consider this film to be an unofficial documentary of their own experience.

The film ultimately serves as a meditation on obsession, what it takes to be the greatest of all time in your craft, and the lengths that people will go to survive in a highly competitive field.

Stream Whiplash Today


Personally, I think Whiplash is a perfect movie, and well deserving of its staggering 94 percent certified fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes. If you’re interested in watching this film today, Whiplash can be streamed on Amazon Prime Video. Just be sure to bring a weighted blanket, a snack, and any other kind of mental health accouterment that may prevent you from sobbing into your popcorn.

GFR score 5/5 stars