Riz Ahmed gives one of the year’s best performances in Sound of Metal, an Amazon film in which Ahmed plays a drummer who suddenly goes deaf, throwing his entire world into chaos. His girlfriend leaves him and he finds himself in a house for the deaf. And while there’s no miracle cure for his condition, Ahmed’s character refuses to accept the situation he finds himself in. Watch the Sound of Metal trailer below.
Sound of Metal Trailer
This is a great trailer. It’s a great showcase for Ahmed’s performance and it also takes you through the emotional journey present throughout the narrative. In Sound of Metal, “During a series of adrenaline-fueled one-night gigs, itinerant punk-metal drummer Ruben (Riz Ahmed) begins to experience intermittent hearing loss. When a specialist tells him his condition will rapidly worsen, he thinks his music career — and with it his life — is over. His bandmate and girlfriend Lou (Olivia Cooke) checks the recovering heroin addict into a secluded sober house for the deaf in hopes it will prevent a relapse and help him learn to adapt to his new situation. But after being welcomed into a community that accepts him just as he is, Ruben has to choose between his equilibrium and the drive to reclaim the life he once knew.”
I caught Sound of Metal at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival, and was very impressed with it. It’s perhaps a little overlong, but Ahmed’s performance is dynamite, and nd the way director Darius Marder conveys the character’s journey is impressive. As I wrote in my review:
To adequately portray Ruben’s deafness, Marder and a fully stacked sound department burrow deep into an aural landscape – and lack thereof. Long stretches of the film have us literally in Ruben’s headspace, the sounds of the film around him muted, muffled, and altogether blocked-out. Sound of Metal is also close-captioned – not just subtitled – in an attempt to create a film designed for both hearing and deaf audiences. The experience can often be overwhelming – the very first scene of the film features Ruben practically obliterating a drumset during a concert, only to soon give way to scenes scored by ringing and then flat-out silence. With this approach, Sound of Metal has the genuine effect of drawing us into Ruben’s world.
The film’s sound design is a huge part of the movie, and while that will no doubt sound better in a theater, I remain cautious about going back to the movies. That said, Sound of Metal will be opening in select theaters on November 20, but if you’d rather wait to see it at home, it also premieres on Amazon Prime Video December 4.
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