Chosen answer: No, it is not normal to bleed while playing drums, as callouses develop on a drummer's hands through constant practising and playing. But, if a drummer plays hard enough and fast enough using the same drum sticks, friction between wood and skin can develop and rupture toughened skin. In the context of the film, the drummer is being pushed beyond his limits by the music conductor. Additionally, he is pushing himself to be better, so the bleeding is a consequence of that drive for excellence.


Question: A few questions: 1) Why did Fletcher recruit Neiman if he knew he ousted him? 2) Did Fletcher purposefully set up Neiman to fail by switching up the song list? If so, wouldn't that look bad on Fletcher? 3) Why did Neiman go crazy and start/keep playing out of sync with everyone else?

Answer: Fletcher recruited Neiman with the intention of ruining his career. He informed Neiman they would be playing songs he was familiar with, but secretly had other songs planned. Fletcher knew there would be influential people in the audience, whose opinion of Neiman would be made or destroyed based on his performance. Neiman attempted to play along with the unfamiliar songs, but couldn't. He decided to prove his talent by playing Caravan. This impressed Fletcher who was angry at first but came to respect Neiman and help him out.

Answer: 1) Fletcher recruited Neiman to attempt to humiliate him publicly. 2) Yes, he purposefully set Neiman up. He reveals to him before the performance that he is aware Neiman testified against him. He doesn't care whether or not the performance will make him look bad, he is out for revenge. 3) Neiman turns the tables on Fletcher by playing "Caravan" instead of the song the rest of the band is playing. "Caravan" is the song Neiman failed to play properly after his car accident. Fletcher, finally showing a modicum of true respect for Neiman, then smiles at him acknowledging his talent and his tenacity.


Answer: Fletcher set up Neiman, but not to fail. Fletcher often spoke of how greatness can only come when one is pushed to their limits (e.g. the Miles Davis story, where David performed an incredible solo months after being booed off stage). By setting up Neiman, Fletcher was testing his limits. In a very similar fashion to the Miles Davis story, Neiman took an incredible un-announced drum solo to make up for his failure and push through the final barrier keeping him from greatness. Fletcher knew that setting Neiman up would make him look bad, but he also knew that if there was a new Miles Davis story to come out of this, it would all be worth it.

Answer: "Carl cannot play without the sheets, and Andrew tells Fletcher that he can perform 'Whiplash' from memory. After a successful performance, Fletcher promotes Andrew to core drummer. Soon after, Fletcher recruits Ryan Connolly...[and] promotes Connolly to core...After a grueling five-hour session with Fletcher and the other drummers in the class, during which Fletcher kicks furniture and screams at him, Andrew earns back the core spot." (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whiplash_ (2014_film)).

Answer: After his first traumatising session with Fletcher, he practiced and practiced until he could play the part without the sheet music. When Neiman somehow misplaced the to-be core drummers folder, he took a chance and offered to play the part. Fletcher was impressed and promoted Neiman to core drummer at the start of the next session.

Question: I may have missed something. If JK Simmons was fired, how could he conduct the band at the end?


Chosen answer: He was fired from the university, but the band at the end was a hobby group he had started conducting for.

Question: Why wasn't Erickson punished for being out of tune and not knowing it? Also, what would Fletcher have done if Metz said he was out of tune?


Answer: Erickson isn't punished because, in Fletcher's mind, the greater sin is not being out of tune, or even of not admitting to it, but of not knowing it...Erickson knew he was out of tune (or at least, Fletcher thinks he did), so Fletcher let it slide. As to the second questions...do you mean, if Metz had said that Erickson was out of tune (because he does say he, himself, is)? Given Fletcher's personality and volatile nature, it's hard to say...he might have respected Metz for being able to identify who was out of tune, or he may have been even angrier at him for being a snitch. Probably the only person who can say for sure is Damien Chazelle. But I don't think there was anything Metz could have said in that moment that would have saved him.

Question: The man with his daughter, was that Sean Casey?


Answer: No. Sean Casey "died in a car accident" according to Fletcher, but he actually killed himself after feeling traumatised by Fletcher's teachings.

Other mistake: In the final scene both at the start when Fletcher is walking on stage and in a shot during "Caravan," just after Andrew mouths FU, when Fletcher puts a hand under his jacket the shot goes forward and then immediately shows the same footage in reverse. (01:27:55 - 01:32:45)

More mistakes in Whiplash

Fletcher: There are no two words in the English language more harmful than "good job."

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