Friday, December 4, 2020

Sound of Metal - Movie Review

The Movie: Sound of Metal

The Director: Darius Marder

The Cast: Riz Ahmed, Olivia Cooke, Paul Raci, Lauren Ridloff and Mathieu Almaric

The Story: A heavy-metal drummer's life is thrown into freefall when he begins to lose his hearing.

The Review:
For anyone who has experienced any sort of hearing loss, I hope this movie gets you as much as I think it does. If anyone has ever wondered what it might be like to experience hearing loss, this movie, I'm assuming, is about as authentic as any I have ever seen on the subject. Right off the bat, this movie should be up for all the awards when it comes to sound design, sound editing, and anything else pertaining to sound. The music, the dialog, the way hearing loss is portrayed, all of it is so thoughtfully and meticulously rendered, it helped me to really understand what Riz Ahmed's character is going through as the story unfolds.

Speaking of Riz Ahmed, what a fantastic performance. The emotion, the authenticity, the struggle, and everything else he threw into the character is just stunning and will be high on my list of favorites for the year. The training and research he must have put in for both drumming and for sign language really pays off in just about every way and adds even more layers of authenticity to the character. Olivia Cooke is also amazing in the movie and my only complaint is that I wish I could have seen more of her but the story is what the story is so here we are. Each performance is so good and then when director Darius Marder puts them together, that magic is just multiplied. If it seems like I'm overly effusive about this movie and the performances, maybe I am, but I also really just loved all of it.

From the poster alone, there is a bit of an expectation for this movie to be similar to Whiplash, another amazing movie about musicians featuring fantastic performances, but it's really not, it's so much more than that movie is and that's not a knock on Whiplash at all, I love that movie. What I mean by Sound of Metal being so much more is simply in the subject matter that it tackles and not the quality of the stories themselves. This movie tackles a lot of subject matter beginning with hearing loss and expanding to addiction, relationships, poverty, classism, ego, and a lot of other things I might not have enough commas for right now.

My one knock on the movie is  that, at a solid two hours, it feels just a bit long but I'm also not sure where any trimming could be done without lessening the story. I just felt like it dragged a bit in a few spots but not anything earth shattering to the overall production. Is this a perfect movie? No, but there is a lot to like and a lot to learn and a lot to enjoy, especially from Ahmed and Cooke. I really hope that the community of people in the world who experience or have experienced hearing loss appreciate this movie and the efforts made to portray to authentically portray that experience.

The Verdict:
Sound of Metal is one of the best movies I have watched this year.

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