Sound of Metal

Other than great performances, a flawed, average film.

Sound of Metal

Like both Pieces of a Woman and Crip Camp, this film has a captivating trailer that proves to be very misleading.  It’s unfortunate length of 2 hours, 10 minutes produced repetitive scenes that sucked the emotion out of the film.

However, the performances alone require you film fans to hunt it down.  To begin with Riz Ahmed’s nomination for Best Actor by both the Golden Globes and the Screen Actor Guild speaks for itself.  He is captivating as Ruben, a heavy metal drummer who is left in agony after suddenly losing his hearing.

As his bandmate and girlfriend Lou, Olivia Cooke matches Ruben’s trip into hell step for step. Traveling together in a large RV, Ruben seeks help in a small deaf country commune where he has to say goodbye to Lou.

The commune is run by Joe (Paul Raci), a Vietnam Veteran who lost his hearing in the war. Filled with both adults and young people, he tries to teach all of them to accept their deafness and fight the intolerance directed at the deaf.

Unfortunately, the film loses a bit of its magic when Ruben seeks to have cochlear implants to recover his hearing, something that Joe regards as a betrayal of his deaf comrades. Given that the surgery can cost $80,000 and is not covered by insurance, Ruben is forced to leave the commune and his deaf friends.

As I watched Ruben wrestle with his hearing loss, I was reminded of the sad fact that I have to wear hearing aids following an accident years ago.  While they are not perfect, when I take them out I cannot hear regular conversation, much less movie dialogue. 

But unlike Ruben, I have learned to embrace stillness.  This world is a lovely place even devoid of sound.