Sound of Metal

Sound of Metal ★★★★½

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

Sound of Metal is ostensibly about hearing loss, portrayed through exceptional sound design and a riveting career best performance from Riz Ahmed (who more than makes up for his embarrassing villain turn in the cringe-fest known as Venom).

More broadly, Darius Marder's film is about loss, full stop. The loss of control, the loss of identity, the loss of a passion, the loss of the plans one had for their life. As someone who's suffered the unexpected death of a parent and the ongoing physical struggles of major surgeries, I could relate on a visceral level. The frustration, the anger, the helplessness. It reminded me of David Gordon Green's fairly under appreciated Stronger. Both movies depict a new disability with a raw emotionality that hit me hard.

If I have a knock on the narrative it's that the timeline gets pretty murky in the middle. Anywhere from a month to half a year could have passed and I wish it was less ambiguous, especially since it gives the impression some of the big decisions leading into the third act are rushed.

Luckily it settles down again for the final passage which includes one of the most affecting and understated breakup scenes I can recall, capturing the pit-in-the-stomach sensation of knowing something special is over without explicitly stating it.

That last moment is perfection.


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