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Whiplash has a similar feel to Shine and Black Swan, but a different setting.

Desperate ambition can be a destructive force and Andrew (Miles Teller) is a driven young drummer in the very competitive world of jazz. Andrew falls under the Svengali-like influence of the uncompromising Fletcher (J.K. Simmons) who dresses, talks and acts more like a US military drill instructor than a jazz tutor.

According to him the worst words are ‘good job’ and that’s why he pushes people to their limits to find the next Charlie Parker. “Wouldn’t that make some give-up?” Andrew innocently asks. “No, a Charlie Parker wouldn’t give up,” says Fletch. That line is a clue to the ending, which has a massive twist.

Vengeance is a powerful emotion – are talent and sheer determination strong enough to triumph over it?

Viewers needn’t be jazz fans to enjoy Whiplash. (MMu)

***1/2 /5

BY MICHAEL MUIR