I was so full of emotion after spending two hours in the company of Sound Of Metal and I instantly put the stereo on loudly and was thankful that I could hear the rock. Also, I felt bad for anyone in the sound categories at the Oscars this year, as Sound Of Metal will rightfully take any awards going.
The film revolves around metal drummer Ruben, who begins to lose his hearing and then has to come to terms with his new life. So far, so Afternoon Movie Of The Week, but don’t fear, the film is pulled up by the script, the sound and the stellar lead performances from Riz Ahmed and Olivia Cooke. You are constantly on their side and wanting things to be okay, the viewer has their head in the sand just as much as Ruben and it is not until his entrance into a deaf community that he, and we, face the truth. It is both heartwarming and heartbreaking in equal amounts.
The rug is constantly pulled from under the viewer, one minute you are ‘hearing’ the things Ruben cannot and the next you are in his head and everything fuzzes out. This is shown no better than in the scene where Ruben is thrashing away on the drums and you can hear only a dull thud and then the action goes to outside his van where the volume returns. The editing and sound work throughout are stunning.
The other great thing about Sound Of Metal is that you never know where it is going. There are moments of great joy and moments of sorrow, both for the characters and the viewer, although we know we can turn it off and LISTEN AGAIN, but this does not change the terrifying scenes of Ruben being introduced to a whole new world, Ahmed helps to totally immerse us in this terror whilst occasionally showing us his darker side. He is both the hero and the villain of the piece, but none of it is pantomime and his scenes with Cooke show a couple deeply in love, before you are told about their darker past.
Sound Of Metal is an absolute triumph throughout. The performances, the editing, the sound and necessary lack of it, everything is spot on and will leave you breathless and reaching for your headphones.
Sound Of Metal is available now on Amazon Prime