The Sound of Metal

This film was harrowing.

For someone in Music, my ears are everything. I use them all the time to make choices and engage with my vocation and profession.

To watch a film that focuses on someone who loses that is a difficult watch.

Live events, clubs and other areas of loud noises were frequent pre-COVID, and I always took my ear plugs everywhere. I don’t care if look weird with them in. I’d rather protect and reserve my hearing. Because the sobering fact is that many venues are loud to the point where they cause tinnitus and that ringing in your ears.

A friend of mine had to get surgery to sort his tinnitus out. it was expensive and it was debilitating. So £20 for decent earplugs is one of the best investments you’ll make in my book.

Riz Ahmed does an impeccable and passionate job of playing Ruben Stone, who during the start of the film, hits the heck of the cymbals in grunge, stoner metal style and then things become muffled, he starts losing his hearing, and with that, his career and relationship is in the balance.

We follow Ruben on a journey to come to terms with the fact that his hearing will get worse. Much of the film takes place in a deaf community, where Paul Raci gives a wonderful performance and a lot of evocative themes come into play such as acceptance, identity, adapting, community and finding inner peace.

The sound design is extraordinary and I can’t think of any other film that has gone to the same length as this one to give a visceral experience of what it is like to lose your hearing. Seeing it in the cinema would be somewhat challenging in this respect.

Watching a film like this makes you appreciate the senses we have and also admire those who don’t, and fight every day to condition themselves into living without thinking their lack of something is a handicap.

A tremendous watch.

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