Sound means everything in Ruben’s life. Starting with friendly jazz as he gets up, it amps up to the intense drumming he does every night with his girlfriend and bandmate Lou in their noise band. When he suddenly goes deaf after a concert, it unbalances their precarious, nomadic rock life. Who is Ruben if what his identity rests on is gone? And will he be able to stay clean now his musical means of release is no more?
Debuting director Darius Marder, who co-wrote Derek Cianfrance’s The Place Beyond the Pines, immerses us entirely in Ruben’s struggles. The incisive sound design for Sound of Metal again underscores how much cinema depends on sound. Riz Ahmed is sensational in the lead role and the film also accentuates how for the hard of hearing the lack of the ability to hear is NOT an insurmountable disability or something of which to be ashamed and the film treats the real life hard of hearing performers with dignity and respect.
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