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Moral of the Movie - Review

Sound of Metal (2020)

Academy Awards Special Edition

Drama, Directed by Darius Marder | Rating: Soulmates | Published: Sept. 2, 2022, 12:08 p.m.


Sometimes, you can find blessings in disguise in the places and moments that you might least expect. Life is often unfair, but it can also offer many wonderful opportunities when you least expect it, so take life as it is: the good and the bad altogether. It is also important to remember that what one person might consider a loss could also be considered as a gain by others. It’s all relative and truly depends on what you make of it.


This film is meant for those who wish to immerse themselves in another person’s world as an exercise of pure empathy. In other words, if you like dramas like The Conversation (1974) and Dallas Buyer’s Club (2013), then you will definitely enjoy this moving drama that puts you in the perspective of someone whose world is changing significantly because of hearing loss.


This film is all about perspective and immersion into another person’s circumstances. It’s the ultimate exercise of empathy as the film puts the audience in its protagonists’ perspective and we literally experience the world through Ruben Stone’s senses. Now, this wouldn’t work at all if you’re not sold by the reality of these characters and this world that is being presented throughout the film. Fortunately, this is not an issue because everyone in this film gives absolutely stunning performances that ground the entire film. Each and every actor in this film gives it their all, but Riz Ahmed especially brings it home as the star of the film. The acting in this film helps establish how real everything feels which only enhances how we feel about the characters and their circumstances. Paul Raci’s portrayal of Joe is one full of emotion as well that holds up beautifully against Ahmed’s character. It isn’t surprising to find out that both of them were nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor, respectively. While the film is deservedly garnering attention for Riz Ahmed’s performance as Ruben Stone, the film’s usage and manipulation of sound is unlike anything I’ve ever seen (or should I say heard?); although, it bears a little resemblance to The Conversation (1974). Given that the entire film revolves around Ruben’s loss of hearing and how he copes with it, I loved the way that first-time director Darius Marder decided to show the audience a slice of what it’s like rather than just telling through dialogue. We see parallels of how Ruben experienced life before and after losing his hearing. We understand how his experience of the world changes because we are put through the same conditions in pivotal moments of the film. This was an incredibly bold choice that worked because of the two reasons mentioned above: stellar acting and masterful sound editing/mixing. This film is fully deserving of the Academy Award for Best Sound and for Best Actor. I would definitely watch this film several times because it represents what I love about movies: the power of empathy and understanding others’ perspectives. In the end, Sound of Metal (2020) stands out because of its incredible acting, immersive directing, and powerful storytelling.

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