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Sound of Metal

Eshal Asim's picture

I have a few thoughts and no seemingly organised way to type them out, so bullet points it is.

- Ruben's wardrobe: Throughout the first quarter of the movie, Ruben and Lou share a lot of their clothes which makes sense, but what I found cool was that after he finds out Lou has been playing solo shows, his wardrobe leans away from their shared band t-shirts and more towards solid, darker colours. I think that subtle shift was not only a great way to show a huge part of his identity being stripped from him, but also a clever way to show who Ruben is without Lou and the codependent nature of their relationship.

- The double meaning behind the sound of metal: I thought the name of the movie was a bit too on the nose, but as I was watching I realised that the "sound of metal" doesn't just have to do with the fact that he's in a metal band and loses his hearing, but also representative of his metal cochlear implants and the unfamiliar sound they provide him with, and the subsequent journey of his newfound relationship with sound. 

- Riz Ahmed's auditory blockers: So I read a few interviews after we watched the movie and I found out that Riz Ahmed actually had auditory blockers that emitted white noise embedded into his ear canal for this role. He couldn't hear anything, including his own voice, and the director said he started crying once they fully kicked in because he the shock from being able to hear himself to hearing absolutely nothing was such an abrupt shift (he had them in during scenes where Ruben is dealing with his complete loss of hearing). However, as they continued filming, he had the blockers removed, and primarily communicated on set using ASL instead, deciding to learn from deaf culture instead. 

- Questions: Why didn't Lou ask her father for money for Ruben's treatment? He clearly feels guilty about having lost his daughter, and he knows how much he matters to her, so I feel like he would have helped them out. Why didn't Ruben have an in-depth idea of what exactly these implants entailed? It seemed as if no one told him the implants weren't a "here's your hearing back" kind of thing. How long was Ruben with Joe because he picked up ASL really fast? Why didn't the directors decide to include scenes of him going to therapy for his implants? I thought the second half of the movie was a bit rushed because we went from Ruben getting his implants to him flying to France, realising his relationship with Lou is not what it once was, to the end of the movie within minutes. I think having a scene with him at therapy would have added more "length" to the timeline of the film and provide more of a "holistic" view of the implant process.