Sound of Metal

Sound of Metal ★★½

Riz Ahmed is magnificent in this occasionally affecting story of a drummer losing his hearing.  It flirts with cliché through almost all of its runtime, but the cast keeps everything grounded in reality so well it’s not a problem.

What is a problem is ultimately how wishy-washy is.  Ahmed is sent to some retreat where he has to Learn How To Be Deaf, which is fine since it also doubles as some kind of addict retreat.  But the whole time he’s had cochlear implants on his mind.  I’m not 100% sure what the people around him thought was going on, but they seemed (rather conveniently) to forget this.  One character just flat out says that the deaf characters don’t believe they have a disability, which is clearly untrue, but you get the sense that the film believes it, too

So, Riz wants implants to have some sense of normalcy in his life again, but the movie goes to pains to show that deafness isn’t a Problem To Be Solved.  Once it has painted itself into this corner, it gives up.  

That’s just one hell of a performance from Ahmed, though.