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Sound of Metal

Aliya's picture

I thought the film’s handling of cochlear implants was really interesting. Although the implants are almost presented by the doctor as a last resort, Ruben views them as a quick “fix” for his deafness. I think this is probably a common reaction for people who go deaf later in life, who have been taught to perceive deafness as abnormal and want to “reverse” their newfound condition. I found the scene where Ruben’s implants are activated very moving. His panic and confusion over the distorted nature of the implant’s sound and his realization that his original hearing would never come back was quite impactful. However, after watching that scene, I feel like Joe’s hard stance against cochlear implants was surprising. Particularly since, when Ruben is trying to settle into his new life, it is clear that even with the limited sound provided by the cochlear implants, his hearing is significantly impaired. I feel like instead of kicking out Ruben for trying to reject his deafness, Joe could have been more sympathetic and educated him on the arguments surrounding cochlear implants.