Tripod Thoughts’s review published on Letterboxd:
Ruben at the end be like:
Hearing is fucked
Sound of Metal was actually pretty good. It’s about a “heavy metal” drummer who ends up losing his hearing and how he copes with adapting to his new lifestyle.
I just wanna start before I get into the praises of this movie with expressing how much I fucking hate how Hollywood depicts metal/punk. Problems like this are present in Green Room as well but every time I think I’m about to see some cool hardcore or thrash beats with some gnarly screams or yells I’m always disappointed by just hearing fucking noise. No beat, hardly a tempo, just noise. Like is this was Hollywood genuinely thinks the metal scene is like? Metal is undoubtedly the hardest genre in terms of talent and yet it gets the shit end of the stick every time and it’s fucking frustrating. For some reason the 90’s had it right with Rock Star and even Cannibal Corpses cameo in Ace Ventura. Point is, stop stigmatizing and stereotyping this talented, unique and fun genre you hacks!
Riz Ahmed gives my favorite performance of his in this movie. I liked him in Rogue One but the problem with him as an actor is he always plays these squirrely, on edge characters which I feel works for this character the most. Also dude got yolked for this movie, bravo. I can’t really say much for or against Olivia Cooke’s performance, she’s absent for a good half of the movie but she is a pretty good singer when she wants to be so there’s that.
I really liked this movie and the message it sent about not treating impairments like handicaps but I also feel like the movie shoots itself in the foot by thinking Riz Ahmed is wrong for wanting to pursue the surgery. If I spent $28,000 on a surgery like that I’d fucking demand they make the hearing as good as they can, not give up after 3 frequency changes or whatever. It can go either way however, I think it would’ve spoken a lot on Lous end if she wanted to learn sign and help adapt to his lifestyle. I just feel like there were some hiccups in the script that could’ve been fleshed out like the fact that Ruben will never be able to listen to metal again. That should be a huge issue with him that’s kinda swept under the table. Ruben also tells Joe he doesn’t wanna talk about the surgery yet proceeds to ask him for money? That one scene has some of the weirdest dialogue progression I’ve seen. Also the pacing is kinda wonky, I have no idea how long he was in that camp for. Could’ve been a couple weeks, a month, 6 months, a year, who tf knows?
Overall a decent movie, not the type of movie I was necessarily expecting. It has less to do with metal and more to do with adapting to a deaf lifestyle which is interesting in its own right. It also has a double meaning as in the end post-surgery he’s hearing a warped, metallic version of the world. Definitely watch if you haven’t yet, but at the same time keep in mind, this is no Whiplash or anything of that caliber.