The power of THE SOUND OF METAL could be considered a film about the power of communication. From music to Sign Language, the power of the audible, to inform is uniquely powerful. In my opinion though, the film is all Riz Ahmed. He stars as Ruben Stone, a heavy metal drummer for a two piece band called Blackgammon. Ruben is a recovering drug addict and alongside him, his girlfriend and singer, composer of the band, Lou (Olivia Cooke). Blackgammon are just starting a tour of America, Ruben is suddenly and drastically loses his hearing. Forced to cancel their tour, Ruben must fight his inner demons and even his own outer prejudice.

Some will obviously highlight the engaged and immediate direction of Darius Marder. Marder after all, was the passion and commitment that brought the film to us. He vetted actors, developed the script and for the course of the 13 years it took to deliver THE SOUND OF METAL, was the driving force for its completion. This certainly makes the film both compassionate and deeply creative. Handheld camera (stedicams mostly), frames tight, spaces juxtaposed and that use of tone in colour is excellent. However the real star here is Riz Ahmed, who in my opinion, was always a good character actor first and never a lead. Today I change that to a great lead actor, who uses his body and his charisma, with a gauge, we have seen rarely. The power of the audible field defines not only his prognosis (and its subsequent denial) but it magnetises our attention.

This is coupled with an intelligent sound design, which crafts the performance, and essential to make it so powerful. From the translating of Sign language to his arc of change and the finale, which, well I shall not go into here but it works perfectly. So yes the film and this blu ray is excellent.

My only issue? The Blu Ray is empty. Nothing but the film is there….

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