Sound of Metal

Sound of Metal ★★★★★

“I understand I have a problem - how do I fix it?”

From the beginning it’s clear how this movie wants to shock me into knowing that I take sound for granted. The benign moment of Ruben (Riz Ahmed) setting up for his show and then noticing the noise loss. It’s terrifying. 

Riz Ahmed’s acting is extremely strong and this is absolutely necessary as Ruben is the protagonist and antagonist. Ruben displays tender care and attention of His manager and partner Lou (Bates Motel’s very own Olivia Cooke) in the beginning and the slow transition of madness, sorrow blended with grief and despair knowing that everything he used to rely on has to change is masterful.

“Ruben: Learn To Be Deaf”

Acceptance when your circumstances have changed or life has just dealt you a difficult hand is hard. Especially when it’s the result of just how you made decisions in the past. Seeing Ruben wrestle with what is important to him is beautiful and poignant and hits close to home. Despite not being able to hear the film shows him playing the drums, speaking or even watching videos knowing he lives in a new world without audio.

Naturally, it feels as if humanity often will choose self-preservation when our status quo is altered even at the risk of hurting ourselves and others. Sound Of Metal goes to great lengths to depict the danger of that. 

Not since Sean Baker’s The Florida Project (2017) have I seen such raw authentic consequence of human behavior depicted so well. For Florida Project the low to the ground camerawork and effects aided in that and with Sound Of Metal it’s the audio design. There’s some insane levels of detail used to depict what Ruben is hearing or not hearing and it’s intensely immersive. 

Sound Of Metal is a must-watch flick and I’m glad this story was told, as there are many layers that could be mined from it for years to come.