Sound of Metal

Sound of Metal ★★★★

Sound of Metal is an intense, knockout drama about disability and addiction in its many forms. It's a hard to watch drama, centered around a powerhouse performance from Riz Ahmed. Ahmed is a titanic actor, and he's in nearly every scene of this film, carrying it all the way. Olivia Cooke and Paul Raci give great supporting performances, but this is Riz Ahmed's movie and he owns it. His performance is vulnerable, heartbreaking and utterly raw.

For a first time feature director, Darius Marder has a strong handle on the material, and makes great use of sound. His style is direct and intense, and it's clear he's learned a lot from past collaborator Derek Cianfrance. His camera is there for the actors, and supports them. He knows when and where to hold, and he often gives Ahmed long meditative moments.

This is heavy film, but worth watching for the intensity of human emotions that it bring down. There's a lot to take, in and the conclusion doesn't rest easy. I wish I'd seen this in a theater, where surely it would've been a more intense experience.