Director: Darius Marder
Writer: Darius Marder, Abraham Marder (Screenplay) Darius Marder, Derek Cianfrance (Story)
Starring: Riz Ahmed, Olivia Cooke, Paul Raci, Lauren Ridloff, Mathieu Amalric
Plot: A heavy-metal drummer’s life is thrown into freefall when he begins to lose his hearing.
Tagline – Music was his world. Then silence revealed a new one.
Runtime: 2 Hours
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: Sound of Metal starts when heavy metal drummer Ruben (Ahmed) starts losing his hearing, putting him a crisis situation as he is in the middle of touring with his girlfriend Lou (Cooke). Ruben believes he is waiting for the chance to get surgery that could bring his hearing back, but first he must seek help.
As Ruben gets into the program with Joe (Raci) he starts to learn to adapt to a life as a deaf man, learning sign and showing he can help others going through the same troubles, even if he is still dealing with the denial of what is going on.
Thoughts on Sound of Metal
Characters & Performances – Ruben is the heavy metal drummer that is a rising band with his partner Lou, they have their own sound which will see him need to find help after he suddenly starts to lose his hearing. He doesn’t know what to do and must treat the change much like his own addictions in the past. He must adapt to a community home that is filled with deaf people learning to adapt to the environment, as he must learn sign language and decide what he wants, a surgery that might not work, or peace in this new life. Riz Ahmed does give a powerful performance throughout the film, one where he deserves all the praise he is getting. Lou is the girlfriend of Ruben that pushes him to get help when he starts to lose his hearing, knowing it could be the best way for him to stay clean and solve the problems he is dealing with. Olivia Cooke does well in the supporting role without getting as much screen time as we would have liked. Joe runs a community for deaf people to learn to adapt to life while deaf, he knows what it is like to go through this, using his experience to guide people and understand their frustrations. Paul Raci does bring us a wonderful calm performance which is perfect opposite the panicked one given from Ahmed.
Story – The story here follows a heavy metal drummer that starts to lose his hearing and must learn to adapt to the dramatic change to his life, taking support from people that have gone through the same experiences he is going through, being the people around him, that he needs to make the right decisions for the next stages of his life. This is a story that will show us how someone will start to see a drastic change in his life, one that will fill him with denial from being able to continuing doing what he loves. The story is told in a way that we experience the changes that Ruben goes through, where we can’t always hear the conversations or understand the sign language going on around him.
Themes – Sound of Metal is a drama that highlights the shock somebody would go through when they suddenly lose their hearing, the sound design in the biggest attraction to this film, as our own senses are put through the ringer as we get different tones to the sound going through, fuzzing up the dialogue much like how Ruben is hearing them.