Sound of Metal ★★★★★

I’ve been hearing about this movie a lot lately and was going into this expecting a solid movie. I got that, but what I didn’t expect was to really not have any problems with it. It’s not perfect but it is one of the best things I’ve seen this year. I’m genuinely struggling to think of things I disliked that would justify a lower score. 

Riz Ahmed is fantastic in this movie. For a character that doesn’t really speak for a good chunk of this film, he did great. It takes a lot of talent to portray emotions like he did in this without speaking. I thought all of the other performances were good too. Particularly Olivia Cooke and Paul Raci were fantastic in this. With Olivia Cooke’s performance she gave these little signs in her performance that she might not be all there, and by the end you really realize how Ruben affected her negatively. 

The sound design is pretty great in this. From someone who’s dabbled in audio editing somewhat, admittedly not very much, I can say that this movie deserves awards for its sound mixing. It flawlessly transitions back and forth between the actual sounds and what Ruben is hearing. There’s always a clear contrast and it’s done in a way where it really makes you feel for the character’s struggle even more. If this doesn’t win awards in sound editing I’m gonna get pissy. 

While Ruben’s character arc isn’t entirely unique in its execution, I did find the conclusion satisfying. The story was really able to get a good sense of progression for his character through visuals rather than dialogue. It compares the compulsion to fix his handicap a lot to drug addiction which I thought was an interesting perspective. 

Overall this movie is great. Easily one of the best things I’ve seen all year and I highly recommend it. As someone who wasn’t really sure what this movie was going into it, I was left pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it.

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