Sound of Metal

Sound of Metal ★★★½


Riz Ahmed stars as Ruben, a drummer and half of a two member metal band on tour across the United States. His girlfriend, Lou (Olivia Cooke) fronts and acts as the manager. When Ruben suddenly loses his hearing, he is desperate to fix it, but quickly learns that once it’s gone it will not come back. Sound of Metal is an odyssey of learning not to fix what’s broken, but to heal. Featuring a career highlight performance for both Ahmed and Cooke, outstanding sound design and careful direction. Director Darius Marder made the choice to include hard captions for the movie to make the viewing experience more inclusive for the hearing and non-hearing communities. A bold choice and one that I respect and admire, but couldn’t help but feel a bit distracted by at times. The film also drags a lot which makes it feel too long. 

Watching Ruben come to terms with his deafness hit close to home for me. I’ve started experiencing what could be the beginning of hearing loss and the scene where his hearing goes scared me and made me almost sick. It sounded just the way it does for me when the sound goes out in my ears. It eventually comes back, but when it didn’t for Ruben, I just couldn’t help but think what if the next time it doesn’t for me either? My ability to hear is so very important to me for more reasons than one. As a filmmaker, as a musician and a fan of those mediums. The thought that it could go at any moment scares the fuck out of me. The doctor in the film tells Ruben that the hearing that has gone will not come back, but he can preserve the hearing that he still has. I enjoy listening to music and watching movies with the volume cranked. I need to turn it down and preserve the hearing I have left.

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