Sound of Metal

Sound of Metal ★★★★½

A brash and starkly executed story of one man's struggle to hold onto normalcy and what defines him in the face of rapid detoriation and the inevitable change, Sound of Metal is a hard-hitting experience amplified by the film's strong use of sound to better portray it's lead character's increasingly hectic and chaotic point of view in a way that imbues the film with an almost terrifying sense of claustrophobic unease as you can't quite escape it. It all builds and builds into a surprisingly peaceful and memorable final shot as mesmerizing as it is stirring. 

It should go without saying that Riz Ahmed delivers in the lead role - able to successfully portray so many emotions and sell his character's contrast of violence and sadness to equal measures while Paul Raci is also commendable as well in the supporting role, able to sell so much with so little. The screenplay is incredibly subtle, with the film rightfully focusing on the visual point and sound to sell what's happening but what is there certainly works to get the point across. Darius Marder does an excellent job of finding a new way to tell an arguably overdone story with the way he balances so many different elements together into one experience eye avoiding many potential clichés and pitfalls many may have been expecting from this type of  film at this point. Visually, it's a very stark and gritty looking picture but that is appropriate here and does wonders in enhancing the film itself and getting across the utter direness and helplessness of the entire situation. 

Overall, for quite a while I didn't know what to think of Sound of Metal but after watching it, one can't deny that it more than deserved to walk home with the Best Sound Editing & Mixing gong on Oscar night as well as arguably Best Actor.

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