Sound of Metal

Sound of Metal ★★★★★

About 3 years ago, I started to lose some of my hearing in my left ear. I just woke up one day and all of a sudden my hearing was almost completely blocked in that ear. It was absolutely terrifying, you’re sitting there, desperately trying to clear your ear, blocking your nose and blowing, moving your mouth trying to fix your ear pressure. After it doesn’t work you get desperate, you get terrified of how isolating it can feel, you start to panic that it’ll never come back again, that your entire world is going to change forever. You realise how much we take sound for granted; music, talking, even just hearing silence, we take that for granted and losing some of that is scary. Now my hearing would come and go periodically, there were days where it’d feel ok, other times it felt awful. It seems like it was a build up in wax that affected my hearing and no matter how much I’ve tried to fix it, it’s never fully went back to normal. I can still hear clearly, but my left ear is slightly quieter than my right. If I’m honest with myself, I think it’s too far gone at this point for it to ever get back to how it once was. I have no idea how I’d cope with losing it all.

So Sound of Metal in that way is almost like a comfort watch. It shows that even if you lose your hearing, your life, its not over for you. It obviously sucks, it’ll be really difficult to adjust to, but theres a light at the end. Your impulse after losing your old life is anger, sadness, pain, but you can get to a point where you’ve come to terms with that and accept who you are and what’s your purpose. You can accept that there’s nothing you can do about your situation and live with that, find a new purpose, move on, find relief. Even if you haven't suffered major hearing damage, that's such an important thing to accept. That time passes, life will change unexpectedly, and all we can do is accept that and try to push forward in whatever way we can, rather than running away from that change or not accepting it.

This film felt so special, not only in terms of the technical aspects (believe me, when I rewatch this, I will go into extreme nerdy detail on why the sound design here is incredible), but as an experience it feels completely meditative and soothing, while also being really emotionally tough and challenging. It affected me in such a deeply personal way that I do not see this being topped as my favourite film of 2020, it's an utter masterpiece.

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