Sound of Metal is a powerful and emotional film that explores the impact of hearing loss on a musician’s life and career. The film follows the story of Ruben, a drummer in a heavy metal band, as he begins to lose his hearing and struggles to come to terms with the changes in his life.

The film is directed by Darius Marder and stars Riz Ahmed as Ruben. Ahmed gives an incredibly powerful and raw performance as a man who is grappling with the loss of a fundamental part of his identity. The film also stars Olivia Cooke as Lou, Ruben’s girlfriend and bandmate, and Paul Raci as Joe, a Vietnam War veteran and recovering addict who runs a sober living community for the deaf.


Feel the sound of metal

A still of Riz Ahmed from the movie "Sound of Metal"

One of the most striking things about Sound of Metal is how it immerses the viewer in Ruben’s experience of losing his hearing. The film uses a combination of sound design and visual techniques to create a sense of disorientation and confusion that is both unsettling and incredibly effective. For instance, Sound of Metal uses a lot of muffled and distorted sounds to simulate Ruben’s perspective of the world. This technique makes the audience feel the sense of confusion and disorientation Ruben is feeling and makes it more relatable.


The film also explores the emotional impact of hearing loss on Ruben’s relationships, his career, and his sense of self. Ruben’s struggles to come to terms with his new reality and the loss of his hearing are depicted in a very realistic and sensitive way. The film also explores the impact on his relationship with his partner Lou, who is also in the band, and how it changes over time. It also delves into the idea of identity, particularly how much of it is wrapped up in one’s profession and how Ruben has to come to terms with his new identity as a deaf person.


Overall, Sound of Metal is a deeply moving and thought-provoking film that offers a powerful and nuanced portrayal of the experience of losing one’s hearing. It is an important film that shines a light on the challenges faced by people with hearing loss and the emotional toll it can take on their lives. It is also a reminder of the importance of empathy, understanding and acceptance towards people who are differently-abled.

Sound of Metal’s portrayal of the deaf community, who are often marginalized and overlooked, is also noteworthy and it gives a voice to the deaf community. The performances of the main cast, especially Riz Ahmed, are outstanding and make the film even more impactful. Highly recommended for anyone interested in exploring the impact of hearing loss on an individual’s life.


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