SOUND OF METAL will be released in select theaters on November 20th, 2020 and available on Prime Video December 4th, 2020.
At first glance, a movie about a drummer who loses his hearing seems like just another cautionary tale our parents warned would happen with the advent of headphones, loud music, and raves. However, “Sound of Metal” dives much deeper and quickly becomes an introspective piece detailing a troubled man’s journey toward self-discovery. Ruben (Riz Ahmed) and Lou (Olivia Cooke) are on tour performing as a rocker-lover duo when Ruben discovers that his hearing is deteriorating at a rapid pace. Lou insists that he relocate to a facility that will help him rehabilitate and navigate his new reality even if it means separating for a time.
All of the actors give strong performances and it’s the supporting Lauren Ridloff, a deaf teacher-turned-actress, and Paul Raci, a CODA (Child Of Deaf Adults), who are completely mesmerizing as Ruben’s mentors. The film shines in its quieter moments when Ruben learns American Sign Language and interacts with the elementary students and members at the facility, using music as a means to empathize and grow. The only disappointing nature of the film is how this representation of the deaf community is secondary to Ruben’s overwhelming and constant shame and anger. He continually sees this change as a disability he can overcome while his newfound friends and classmates find pride in their identity.
Overall, the film is a poignant portrait with some beautifully intimate moments that inspire self-reflection. The sound design wonderfully illustrates Ruben’s internal conflict by alternating between diegetic sound and how he perceives it. “Sound of Metal” is a thrilling, captivating tale from roaring beginning to breathtaking finale.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Nicholas Ruhrkraut (Contributor) lives in New York City but is a Midwestern boy at heart. He loves discussing everything film on his podcast "Oscar Wild," cooking and baking at home, reading, and traveling.
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