Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Sound of Metal Review: An Eye Opening and Innovative Journey

Riz Ahmed	Riz Ahmed	...	Ruben Olivia Cooke	Olivia Cooke	...	Lou Paul Raci	Paul Raci	...	Joe Mathieu Amalric	Mathieu Amalric	...	Richard Berger Lauren Ridloff	Lauren Ridloff	...	Diane Jamie Ghazarian	Jamie Ghazarian	...	Concert Goer Chris Perfetti	Chris Perfetti	...	Harlan William Xifaras	William Xifaras	...	Michael's Father Hillary Baack	Hillary Baack	...	Hannah Michael Tow	Michael Tow	...	Pharmacist Tom Kemp	Tom Kemp	...	Dr. Paysinger Rena Maliszewski	Rena Maliszewski	...	Audiologist Shaheem Sanchez	Shaheem Sanchez	...	Shaheem David Arthur Sousa	David Arthur Sousa	...	Rock Fan (as David Arthur) Bill Thorpe	Bill Thorpe	...	The Man

Release date: December 4, 2020
Running time: 103 minutes
Starring: Riz Ahmed, Olivia Cooke, Paul Raci 
Director: Darius Marder

During a series of adrenaline-fueled one-night gigs, itinerant punk-metal drummer Ruben (Riz Ahmed) begins to experience intermittent hearing loss. When a specialist tells him his condition will rapidly worsen, he thinks his music career — and with it his life — is over. His bandmate and girlfriend Lou (Olivia Cooke) checks the recovering heroin addict into a secluded sober house for the deaf in hopes it will prevent a relapse and help him learn to adapt to his new situation. But after being welcomed into a community that accepts him just as he is, Ruben has to choose between his equilibrium and the drive to reclaim the life he once knew. Utilizing startling, innovative sound design techniques, director Darius Marder takes audiences inside Ruben’s experience to vividly recreate his journey into a rarely examined world.

As you would expect from a movie covering hearing loss, the sound design i this film is fantastic.  It starts as your conventional metal drama, but when Ahmed begins to lose his hearing, it really leads to some very interesting sounds.  The muffled sound, the random times that he stops hearing sound or hears very little, and the contrast between what someone with hearing experiences versus someone with limited hearing experiences was striking.  It really gives you an appreciation for sound and the ability to hear.  I found myself turning down the movie while watching to make sure I preserved my own hearing!

Dickey Abedon	...	executive producer Sacha Ben Harroche	...	producer (p.g.a.) Derek Cianfrance	...	executive producer Corentin De Saedeleer	...	executive producer post production Kirt Gunn	...	executive producer Bert Hamelinck	...	producer (p.g.a.) Fredric King	...	executive producer Hannah Reyer	...	associate producer Daniel Sbrega	...	executive producer Chris Stinson	...	line producer Dimitri Verbeeck	...	executive producer        Directed by  Darius Marder	Writing Credits   Darius Marder	...	(screenplay by)   Derek Cianfrance	...	(story by)   Darius Marder	 Abraham Marder
Ahmed has made a name for himself by taking on challenging roles and this one is no exception.  He plays a metal drummer and definitely looks the part, from the tattoos to the hair to his overall stage presence.  But after he begins to lose his hearing his persona changes dramatically as he begins to understand the depth of what he lost and how it will be affecting him in the future.  His girlfriend Lou (Cooke) is great when she is on screen, but the majority of this film is Ahmed on a journey of self discovery.  That being said, he is helped along on many occasions by a mentor in Paul Raci, who is understanding but firm with Ruben during his journey.  

And the story of this film is wonderfully done and needs to be experienced.  The overall transformation for Ruben and some of the aspects of his life and goals he is forced to confront is really well done and interesting to see.  And the movie has some interesting questions to explore about happiness and desire; balancing what we think we want and need and the problems with always chasing something else.  So despite the film not having as much metal as I was hoping to see, the movie is an eye opening and innovative journey for Ruben, highlighting challenges and dispelling stereotypes about the entire deaf community along the way.

Sound of Metal is an eye opening and innovative journey, with amazing sound design and a story that highlights challenges, dispels stereotypes, and asks some interesting questions about happiness and desire.

Watch it.

Deaf Hearing Hearing Loss Disabled Ears Sound Music Metal Drummer Powerful coming of age journey acceptance

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Sound of Metal is available on Amazon Prime Video on December 4, 2020.

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