Sound of Metal

Sound of Metal ★★★

3-out-of-4: I'm entertained.

Sound of Metal is a drama.

The story focuses on Riz Ahmed, a drummer representing one half of an experimental/metal band, along with vocals by his girlfriend, Olivia Cooke. Almost immediately, we learn that Ahmed has sustained significant damage to his hearing. In an effort to cope with this change and not relapse into old drug habits (a recovering addict, four years sober), he opts to join a support group that helps addicts and children who have lost or are losing their hearing, forcing him to temporarily separate from Cooke in order to focus on himself. The group's goal is to help him re-learn communication, to help him not see himself as broken.

I liked that Ahmed is faced with being between two worlds -- with everything he knows and is comfortable with on one side, and all the growth triggered by his new support system and where that could lead on the other side. The movie does a good job of showing his feelings, and it's easy to feel sympathetic for Ahmed as he struggles with moving forward. It also delivers a positive message -- about mental health, too.

I worried it'd become gimmicky, but I liked how sound was used to get into the head of Ahmed and to open up the story; I'll be vague to avoid spoiling, but near the end I could only think how ugly things sounded, and it added new meaning to the movie's title. As for the performances, I quite liked Ahmed and thought he was emotionally engaging. Cooke had a slightly smaller role (she's mostly off-screen while Ahmed is with the group), but I liked their chemistry and how she presented her character.

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