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Amazon Many of us have attended concerts and experienced a ringing in our ears for a while afterward. Have you ever thought about the musicians who are playing that music night after night? It’s a risk that requires precautions and even then, disaster can occur. Sound of Metal , the first narrative feature from writer-director Darius Marder, uses the hearing loss of a heavy metal drummer to explore what happens when the life we know is suddenly snatched away.

Riz Ahmed (TV mini-series “The Night Of”) stars as Ruben, the aforementioned drummer. The film opens with Ruben drumming on stage as his lead singer/girlfriend Lou (underrated Olivia Cooke, Thoroughbreds , “Bates Motel”) screams out the lyrics punk-style for their band, Blackgammon. We witness Ruben’s euphoria at the moment, with his “Please Kill Me” tattoo visible across his chest. Afterward, we see the couple in their RV living a happy life of veggie juice, yoga, and slow dancing between gigs. The first crack in the armor is Lou’s scratching her arm from anxiety, and the next is devastating for Ruben and the couple. Ahmed is terrific in the most important moments, and he’s assisted by top-notch sound design from Nicolas Becker ( Gravity , 2013). This allows us to feel and experience the moment Ruben realizes he has a problem, and how he begins to process this. Director Marder utilizes subtitles/closed captioning throughout, both for the deaf community and to make Ruben’s situation visceral for viewers. When the doctor explains hearing […]