You are on top of the world. In your best shape. You really enjoy what you do and, suddenly, you disconnect from the world. Like a castaway, you are left alone, adrift from your thoughts. With the film The Sound of Metal, the director Darius Marder places us right at that moment of disconnection, using torpor as the main narrative resource, a question that works more than.
Here, the path that is taken is not one that presents deafness as something that has a remedy and that, eventually, will be cured. On the contrary, there is constant gambling with the possibility that this will not happen and, furthermore, a painful reality is brought to the table: change is not for everyone. There are people who, no matter how hard they fight, will never be satisfied with what they have to face in life.
Ruben (Riz Ahmed) is precisely a great example of that reluctance to the unknown. A musician by profession, he is used to making audiences vibrate with his drums. To feel the power of rhythm in every fiber of your being. So when he finds himself losing his hearing, he does everything possible to regain his previous life. Is it bad to long for the past? Of course not. And that’s something that the movie The Sound of Metal understands quite well, and that it manages to channel through a pure focus on feelings.
The film does not rely on its script, which in fact is its weakest point, to hook the audience. He does not have the best dialogues, but at no time are doubts perceived to show us that, in this group, what matters is not the words, but the actions. Every look, every gesture, every movement is an extremely well-used opportunity to create empathy even in the midst of growing darkness.
Thus, it is clear that the director – who works in front of the camera in his first fiction feature film – has a super power to make us forget any type of writing failure, accentuating the humanity of his protagonists to the point that everything else disappears. If we add talent like Ahmed’s to this, it is impossible not to be enchanted. The Briton, true to his restrained but powerful style, gives his character very well-balanced nuances: he is explosive and vulnerable alike., without reaching the exaggeration and the overflow of tears to express his evident confusion and deep pain.
By last, Another aspect that shines in the film The sound of metal is its sound design, which in a fascinating way makes us part of the plot with effects that emulate the different stages of hearing loss. The feeling of immersion that is created is surprising.
This is not an optimistic project in nature. Rather, it is an intimate – and sour – study of adaptation, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn something from it: the most important lesson is that some people manage to live with what they have, but don’t necessarily embrace it. It’s okay to be human, it’s okay to have bad days. For many, the recipe for fighting adversity is to live one day at a time.
Original title: Sound of metal
Director: Darius Marder (Loot)
Actors: Riz Ahmed, Olivia Cooke
Release date:December 04, 2020 (US)
José Roberto Landaverde Cinephile and music lover. I love writing, listening, reading and commenting on everything related to the seventh art. I think Fleetwood Mac is underrated. I’m a Rocky and Back to the Future fan and obviously one day I’ll climb the “Philly Steps” and drive a DeLorean. Faithful believer that the cinema is the best teleportation machine, and also that on the big screen we can all see ourselves represented.