La La Land is three-quarters the beauty of Whiplash.
Coming across “From the makers of Whiplash” was more than enough for me to look forward to La La Land. The beauteous screenplay, gripping direction and impeccable performances are all the things that I eagerly looked forward to.
As soon as La La Land got over, I insisted that my friend, who had accompanied me for the movie, watch Whiplash right away. And as we sat in front of her laptop, my revisit to Whiplash began. As the movie continued, I noticed a lot of similarities between it and La La Land.
The biggest similarity was the addressing of the issue of jazz dying. Both the films depicted intense passion; passion for one’s dreams. Both had love being placed below aspirations. Both had the mention of Summer, for some reason. Both had the cameras zoom into edibles and drinks (coffee, etc in La La Land and soft drinks and popcorn in Whiplash) which essentially brings out the peculiarity of the director. Both had JK Simmons being an ass hole.
Most importantly, both kept reality intact.
However, the dissimilarities between the two led Whiplash to secure the top position for me. Whiplash had the intensity which LLL lacked. Whiplash made me cringe everytime Andrew (Miles Teller) picked up the drumsticks. Every time that he bled his fingers to perform his best, I felt it. Really! One has to see it to feel it.
LLL had more colours and brightness than Whiplash. The usage of light was more nuanced in LLL. For instance, the way only the character that sang or spoke was spotlighted totally captivated me. I knew I had to pay attention; I had to look into the eyes of the character, just like, I felt the building nervousness with every manoeuvre of Fletcher’s hand in Whiplash.
As for the performances, Emma Stone’s matches the intensity of Miles Teller’s while Ryan Gosling is good in his own way. It’s Teller’s performance that outshines the other two’s for me any day, though.
Another person who needs a mention is Damien Chazelle, the director. Man, is he amazing! TBH, I was sort of astonished to discover his age (32) since I’d thought such intricate handiwork would belong to some aged, experienced person.
Both films undoubtedly had outstanding performances; LLL had more dreamy sequences and more filmy drama while Whiplash had all its seriousness taking me for a ride.
Music, which is a significant part of both the films, was peppier in LLL, of course, but the way it intensifies in Whiplash is noteworthy. Still, it’s the songs of LLL that find a better place in my heart than the drums of Whiplash. The way Andrew bashes his drums and Mia puts life into verses is abso-frikking-lutely commendable.
Coming to my conclusion and that of both the films, that of Whiplash wins hands down.
I know it was great to see Mia and Sebastian resolutely move on in their lives, which was a very realistic thing to do. However, Andrew’s unflinching perseverance and taking an extremely good control of the situation, which takes Fletcher (and us) for a hell of a ride, is one that leaves a stronger impact.
Although LLL ended on an unexpected yet fair note, the ending of Whiplash was stronger. All in all, La La Land is three-quarters the beauty of Whiplash.
And that is all for now, folks!