Film Review: Whiplash at Moonlight Cinema

We headed to Moonlight Cinema in Sydney to watch Oscar-nominated, drumtastic drama “Whiplash” under the stars: 

Whiplash sees a young, talented and driven drummer (Miles Teller) land under the wing of the most respected professor at his highly prestigious music academy when he scores a place in his jazz band. Good news right? Well, no, not really. To paraphrase Trainspotting… take the strictest teacher you ever had, multiply them by a thousand and you’re still nowhere near the character that J.K. Simmons plays in Whiplash. Think Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in Full Metal Jacket. This guy is a perfectionist and a tormenter who starts off with a calm-yet-terrifying exterior which quickly boils over into shit-your-pants territory. When he sighs and says “not quite my tempo” you know what he really means is “you’d better get it right soon or I’m going to rip your face off.”

The performances of the film’s two leads are astonishing and do a great job in blurring the lines of whose side we’re supposed to be on. Teller plays his role excellently. We empathise with him but not too much because he’s actually not the most likeable character either. And while we hate Simmons’ psycho teacher, we also secretly love him at the same time and, as his rage grows and the furniture starts to fly, it makes for electric viewing.

The film is nothing but enthralling and engaging from first beat to last as we watch these two strong characters march towards a thrilling finale. Whiplash is worthy of its awards (J.K. Simmons literally just won Bet Supporting Actor) and is certainly a must-see.

If, like us, you fancy watching a movie under the stars, then the good news for you is that Moonlight Cinema has announced they will be offering $10 tickets to their full March film program. Yup, the fun is far from over in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth for Moonlight’s last month of the season, with more advanced screenings, the new generation of cult classics, and the return of your favourite summer films.

You can check out The Theory of Everything, Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper and Michael Keaton’s Birdman. Also on offer are the likes of Fifty Shades of Grey, plus Vince Vaughn’s latest comedy, Unfinished Business  There’s also an advanced screening of everyone’s favourite sponge, with The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water.

Recent high-school classics like Mean Girls and Clueless are also, like, totally being shown as well, so head along and enjoy some world-class cinema in the beautiful outdoors. It’s a lovely, relaxing experience and you can bring your own booze and food. Trust us, you’ll have a great time.

WHAT: Moonlight Cinema
WHERE & WHEN: Melbourne: Central Lawn at Royal Botanic Gardens
Perth: Kings Park and Botanic Garden
Sydney: Belvedere Amphitheatre in Centennial Park
WHEN: Until 29 March 2015

For the full programme, news and tickets head to the Moonlight Cinema website and keep up to date on Facebook and Twitter.