Vince The Cinephile’s review published on Letterboxd:
Thought-provoking, and emotionally absorbing, director-writer Darius Marder puts a highly empathetic drama in Sound of Metal concerning a former addict/drummer, who begins to lose his hearing. Along with its evocative, and inventive sound design, the film puts us directly inside the lead character’s headspace giving us a true immersion that is quite impressive. Marder makes us concern with his lead character Ruben, and presents a convincing predicament of such tragic proportions. It also portrays a wonderful representation and insight of the Deaf community that is often misjudged in most stories.
Riz Ahmed gives a mesmerizing, hurting performance in this film as Ruben. Ahmed fully realizes this character’s potential, acceptance and emotional transformation as vivid as possible. This is a character who is shocked and scared of the silence that disrupted his seemingly ordinary life. And throughout the film, we see that faded illusion. Being deaf is not about impeding someone’s life. It perceives silence not a weakness but as a power of autonomy. Sometimes you just have to change how you perceive your new life. This self-actualization proves to be the film’s most powerful insight as we see Ruben taking off his hearing aids in the end. His character looks up, realizes his surroundings, and appreciates his new life. Paul Raci also delivers a dignified supporting performance as Ruben's Deaf counselor. In the end, Sound of Metal chooses to be optimistic amidst its tragic underpinnings and for that, it’s quite disarming.