Riz Ahmed nailed every single part of his character in Sound of Metal. The movie deserved every single Academy Award nomination, and win.
Nominated for four academy awards and winning two, Sound of Metal takes you on a beautifully argued parable journey about acceptance and the need to go where life takes you. The movie is directed by Darius Marder, who wrote the story with Derek Cianfrance and who also wrote the screenplay with his brother Abraham Marder.
The film is not produced by a big budget studio. And honestly, it doesn’t need to. Riz Ahmed’s passionate performance was more than enough to take me on an evocative look at the experiences of the deaf community. He’s playing a heavy-metal drummer whose life is thrown into freefall when he begins to lose his hearing.
But that’s not all. As much as I would love to hand it over to Ahmed for carrying the movie, I can’t. If anything, it’s also the bold creativity and genius of sound designer Nicholas Becker as well as the sound editing that took me by surprise. Yes, it’s a movie about becoming deaf, but it’s also much more. The sound editing alone helped put the viewer in Ruben’s shoes (played by Riz Ahmed). Riz Ahmed is the voice, eyes, and soul of Sound of Metal. Words simply can’t convey what his vacant looks can.
Should you watch it?
Putting us in Ruben’s head, a drummer who lost his hearing, strengthens the theme of loss of identity… and makes the character’s hardships hit harder. Sound of Metal doesn’t do anything surprising or unexpected. But the technical aspects of its making (editing, sound profile, and acting) make it impressive.