Sound of Metal

Sound of Metal ★★★★½

There's a moment about 10 minutes into this film when Ruben (Riz Ahmed) is at a hearing specialist's office. The specialist is explaining to him that the majority of his hearing is gone, and all his efforts at the moment should be dedicated to preserving what's left.

The film smash cuts to Ruben performing at another metal concert that very night, seemingly disregarding the specialist's advice. It's a stunning depiction of that innate human desire to maintain normality -- to act like nothing's wrong, to carry on as though everything's fine.

That's ultimately what the film spends the rest of its runtime navigating: The impact of that desire, and the consequences. When something cataclysmic happens, you can do everything you can to go back to your old life, or you can try to accept your new one.

Either way, you'll have to live with that decision.

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