The Stream: A little slow in the middle.
The Big Screen: Riz Ahmed gives a strong and impactful performance.
The Final Bill: A moving story about identity and self-acceptance.– Trip Fontaine
Director: Darius Marder
Writers: Darius Marder and Abraham Marder
Stars: Riz Ahmed, Olivia Cooke, Paul Raci
Rating: R (for language)
Runtime: 1 hour 56 minutes
Platform: Prime Video
Yes, winter movie season is in full swing. It seems like there are so many great offerings every weekend on multiple platforms. A plethora of opportunities for entertainment. Upon the suggestion from Prime Video, I watched Sound of Metal, which premiered on the platform on December 4, 2020. Here’s why it was such a worthwhile experience.
The plot of Sound of Metal is pretty simple – it’s a drama starring Riz Amhed as a heavy metal drummer whose life takes an unexpected turn when he begins to lose his hearing. Ahmed plays the drummer, Ruben, who is part of the heavy mental duo with his girlfriend played by Olivia Cooke, and their music career seems to be going along smoothly. But, as a recovering addict, the hearing loss sends Ruben into a tailspin. As directed by Darius Marder, the crux of the film is how Ruben copes with the monumental change in his life and the emotions that he goes through, will he be able to hear again, will his relationship survive, will he survive and so many deep and devastating questions. It’s not just a typical movie about an addict – though that is an important part. The film also dives into questions of identity and what makes us who we are – or who we think we are.
All of these questions hinge on the strength of the performances of Ahmed, Cooke and Paul Raci. Raci plays a sponsor, or mentor of sorts, to Ruben as he deals with his addiction and his hearing loss. Ahmed plays Ruben so well. There’s so much passion, and fear, felt throughout film. The success of the film really rests on Ahmed’s shoulders and he carries it well. Cooke is very good as the girlfriend and bandmate. It’s understandable why she may be a motivating factor for Ruben. Raci is very impactful in his part too. He’s stern, thoughtful and makes a necessary contrast to Ruben. There’s a lot of care in each of these performances and they grow as the movie goes along. These characters are really well-rounded and provide a strong foundation for this emotional story.
If you are looking for a good, emotional movie to watch, Sound of Metal is a worthy contender. Riz Ahmed’s performance is one people will be talking about for the rest of the year. Grab a big box of popcorn and don’t miss this movie.