Review by David Baldwin for Mr. Will Wong
Ruben (Riz Ahmed) and Lou (Olivia Cooke) are a metal band touring and driving around the US in their RV. As he preps for a show, Ruben gets a loud ringing in his ears. He thinks nothing of it, but finds out soon after that he is losing his hearing rapidly and will soon become deaf.
This is the set-up for Co-Writer/Director Darius Marder’s harrowing journey Sound of Metal. The Film is loud, intense, and is a genuine test of endurance for audiences. It pulls no punches, plunging us right into the mind of Ruben as he learns how to communicate as a newly deaf person. Special attention was paid to the sound design, with Marder and his team creating an impeccable mix that is authentic to the experiences deaf people go through each and every day. And it switches from a normal mix to this authentic mix so often that it is almost impossible to prepare for it. Cooke is great in her small number of scenes, but the whole Film is held together by career best work from Ahmed. He digs-in deep, allowing us to feel every moment of triumph and tragedy. Ahmed’s visceral level of commitment here cannot simply be described; it demands to be seen.
SOUND OF METAL screens during TIFF at the following times:
Friday September 6, 9:00pm @ Winter Garden Theatre [World Premiere]
Saturday September 7, 10:00am @ Elgin Theatre
Saturday September 14, 9:00pm @ TIFF Bell Lightbox
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