Watch: ‘Whiplash’ Is a Story Told Through Sounds and Close-Ups

Watch: ‘Whiplash’ Is a Story Told Through Sounds and Close-Ups

I often thought, while watching ‘Whiplash‘, that I might be able to get as much out of it with my eyes closed as I would with my eyes open. Damien Chazelle invested an incredible amount in the auditory effects of this film, as befits a movie about musicians–it’s in the actors’ voices, in the booming sound of J.K. Simmons’ voice or Miles Teller’s post-adoloscent rasp, but it’s also in the music, stopping and starting, proving exhilarating once we’re finally allowed to hear the title song continuously. That said, though, if you simply listened to the movie, you’d miss its odd use of close-ups: hands, drumsticks, drums, sheet music, car wheels, keys, clocks. As these images accumulate, they begin to give metaphorical weight to the film’s simple, old story, telling another story about the difficulties of learning, growth, and survival. This new piece by Jorge Luengo shows a side of the film that is, in the final analysis, the film’s better side: an underpinning of craft behind a vehicle for two talented actors.

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