Starring: Riz Ahmed, Olivia Cooke, Paul Raci
Director: Darius Marder
Running Time: 120 mins
Sound Of Metal is an American film about a heavy metal who begins to lose his hearing, forcing him to abandon his career as he begins to accustom himself to a world without sound.
For a film evidently centred around sense, Sound Of Metal does a fantastic job at delivering an immersive sensory experience, with many of its moments of silence proving more powerful than its equally well-written dialogue.
There’s a lot to praise about Sound Of Metal, but above all, the film deserves credit for its genuine and intimate approach to telling the story of a man undergoing a traumatic change in his life, and putting as positive a spin on it as possible.
While the film doesn’t look beyond the devastating effects of losing your hearing, it’s great to see how it manages to balance its view of the negative sides of the situation with the positives, particularly as lead actor Riz Ahmed becomes more accustomed to his situation.
Reluctant at first, the way that he comes together with a community of deaf people, discovering an entirely new way to look at the world, is wonderfully inspiring, and a delightful hook to this story, which shows all that there is to gain even after losing your hearing.
It’s not an easy watch at times, but it is an overwhelmingly positive watch, which is a real surprise given the tough subject matter of the film.
But, the thing that really makes Sound Of Metal stand out is the way that it uses an immersive sensory experience to make its story all the more powerful, and all the more relatable.
As I mentioned, more often than not it’s the moments of silence which really hit home most in this film, as you turn off from the frustrations of muffled dialogue and experience the world in silence, like Riz Ahmed’s character finds himself doing.
It’s a very simple trick, but not easy to execute. However, Sound Of Metal does a fantastic job with it, delivering powerful and deeply effective storytelling and sensory motifs throughout, making for a gripping and ever more immersive watch. And that’s just one of the things that make the film so strong, which is why I’m giving Sound Of Metal a 7.7 overall.