Sound of Metal (2020)

Sound of Metal (2020)

Riz Ahmed excels in this piercing drama about a musician losing his hearing.

The Very Best

9.1

Movie

Belgium, United Kingdom
English, French
Drama, Music
2020
DARIUS MARDER
Alan Resnic, Bill Thorpe, Chelsea Lee
121 min

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What it's about

Metal drummer Ruben begins to lose his hearing. When a doctor tells him his condition will worsen, he thinks his career and life is over. His girlfriend Lou checks the former addict into a rehab for the deaf hoping it will prevent a relapse and help him adapt to his new life. After being welcomed and accepted just as he is, Ruben must choose between his new normal and the life he once knew.

The take

Ahmed plays Ruben Stone, a heavy metal drummer, who plays in a band and lives in a tour bus with his girlfriend Lou (Olivia Cooke). Quickly after meeting the couple, we witness the touring musician drastically losing his hearing. As recovering addicts with little financial means, they soon run out of options. Lou desperately wants to prevent Ruben's relapse into addiction and so she helps him retreat to a deaf community group home, run by the illustrious Joe, a truly amazing character played by the equally amazing Paul Raci, himself the hearing son of deaf parents. There is something deeper going on though: the question of what disability is, and how, despite how it drastically changes Ruben's life, it might not be his biggest problem. In addition to the stellar acting and delicate writing, we experience his condition through the incredible sound design used by director Darius Marder, complete with muffled conversations, garbled noises, and piercing silence. This is a movie to be taken in completely. Above all, it's about Riz Ahmed's performance. He learned to play drums, sign language, and studied deafness ahead of the shooting, and he does not strike a wrong note.

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