Sound of Metal
Starring: Riz Ahmed, Olivia Cooke, Paul Raci, Lauren Ridloff, Mathieu Amalric
Directed by: Darius Marder
Screenplay: Darius Marder, Abraham Marder
Cinematography: Daniël Boquet
It’s not often for me to get chills after watching a film, but that’s exactly what happened when Sound of Metal faded to black and in that moment I was excited, happy, conflicted, I was feeling a whole range of emotions. Sound of Metal does precisely what it was designed to do, transcend the feelings, the emotions, the frustrations, and blessing of being deaf to those who can still hear. Ruben (Riz Ahmed) is the drummer in the popular underground metal band “Blackgammon”, spending his days touring across the United States with his girlfriend Lou (Olivia Cooke) blissfully in an Airstream RV. Everything seems perfect, when out of nowhere Ruben loses his hearing. Ruben at first doesn’t take his condition easily, understably. I find it hard to believe anyone could just easily accept their hearing loss and that’s when we journey with Ruben down his path to acceptance of his condition.
What sets Sound of Metal apart from other films this year is their ability to relate a human condition that so many are unfamiliar with. We take for granted our abilities; To walk, to see, to feel, to hear, these are things that make us so comfortable. Sound of Metal throws puts you right in the same position as Ruben. There a moments where the creators intentionally omit subtitles when multiple people are having a conversation in sign language, leaving you to experience the same frustration and confusion that Ruben is experiencing by not knowing sign language either. Disorienting at times, Ahmed and Director Darius Marder flawlessly provide an authentic experience of losing touch with the realities of life, as you watch Ruben struggle to find his balance in a world that’s been flipped upside down.
The lessons you learn in Sound of Metal are grounding. We can relate the struggle of accepting the things that come with certain conditions of human life. We sometimes fight and spend all of our energy trying to restore our life back to what we used to remember it as, instead of simply enjoying the moment and accepting the conditions that are willfully given to us. This film is special and my only hope is that every and any one can feel the same way I did about it.
Sound of Metal releases on December 4th on Amazon Prime