A project where the sound design is a major influence involves the drumming addiction and deaf communities.
Sound of Metal is the feature of Darius Marder (co-writer of The Place Beyond The Pines) that stars British/Pakistani actor Riz Ahmed (Nightcrawler) in a robust character study.
The auditory condition of Ahmed’s Ruben is the focus of story that builds empathy from fear and denial as unforeseen calamity strikes the heavy-metal drummer.
He’s in the middle of a tour with girlfriend/accompanist vocalist Lou (Olivia Cooke) in learning of a hearing loss approaching 90% that may be total in the near future.
Much of the film is set in a remote facility run by a dedicated, thought exacting Joe (a very effective Paul Raci). Realizing where he is and what it means to be there often observationally is prime to what certain onlookers may perceive as dramatically inert. Even though it really can’t be described as uneventful.
From the unintelligible to the muffled an oddly compelling experience emerges that Ahmed is truly engaged in every rhythm. Avoiding broad emotional strokes his restraint charts a kind of crystallization that actually thwarts Ruben. With some escape through sound-to-text an almost experimental sensory assault isn’t really off-putting on a journey to peace and cam. In some ways that recall how A Quiet Place flourished in a horror element.
Cook and, notably Raci cannot be overlooked by to be sure this is Ahmed’s film and the investment beyond all the time studying the music and impairment offers great rewards. Sound braces with much creativity and emotional clarity with filming in lesser-known Bay State locales like Ipswich, Danvers and Framingham, besides Boston and Cambridge.