What Does Damien Chazelle Actually Want to Say?
Damien Chazelle, American director and screenwriter who won numerous awards for his first two major films, Whiplash and La La Land. And these will be the two films. I will focus on throughout the article while searching for the message Chazelle wants to give.
On the surface, it doesn’t look like Damien Chazelle’s “Whiplash” and “La La Land” are all that similar. Yes, they both deal with jazz, but apart from that, they don’t really register a
s being cut from the same cloth. The feeling coming out of both films are almost polar opposites and they have no common ground. However, they do share some similar themes.
“Whiplash” is about the uncompromising pursuit of a goal seldom achieved. It’s about pursuing a dream and La La Land is the same and the song a auditioned “The Fools Who Dream” by Emma Stone (Mia) has this. She told me a bit of madness is key to give us new colors to see. Who knows where it will lead us and that’s why they need us. So bring on the rebels, the ripples from pebbles, the painters and poets and plays and here’s to “The Fools Who Dream”. Crazy as they may seen here’s to the hearts that break, here’s to the mess we made.
What each film seems to encourage outright obviously is that to achieve our dreams there is sacrifice. Whiplash focuses more on the personal pain the frustration and obstacles. Whereas “La La Land” bursts into a dream sequence of music and dance to imagine with us a dream. Looking at these, people may say, “I want to be a dreamer, I want to achieve my dream and see it come true.” But if jazz is life as music then maybe Chazelle is trying to play us something we ought to recognise. A bit of ourselves in every one of those 24 frames per second and this leads to something both movies possess a more subtle question. Is it worth it? Mia’s dream of an acting carrer and Sebastian’s of opening his own jazz club worth what they lost in the process. Neiman’s pursuit of being the greatest drummer of all time costs him more than we know. What would a sequel to “Whiplash” look like? Was Fletcher and his abusive methods correct all along? Would Neiman one day become the same kind of instructor keeping abuse other drummers and musicians? If we had a chance ask Mia and Sebastian at the end of La La Land if they would not trade all of their dreams come true to have one another again what would they say? But the question is actually less about Neiman, Mia or Sebastian. The question isn’t even for them. The question is for you. What is your dream worth and once you have achieved it what will it have truly cost you? I think this question is exactly what Damien Chazelle wants to ask us.