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Posts Tagged ‘Paul Raci’

Riz Ahmed

“SOUND OF METAL” My rating: B (Amazon Prime)

120 minutes | MPAA rating: R

Ruben (Riz Ahmed) lives for music.

He tours in a two-person heavy-metal band with his girlfriend Lou (Olivia Cooke); she sings and plays screeching guitar;  he pounds the drums.

They live in an RV that also serves as a recording studio. Life is good.

At least until the gig when, in the middle of setting up their CD sales table at a venue, the conversations around Ruben go muffled and indecipherable. He’s able to get through the gig on sense memory, but it’s clear that something is seriously wrong.

Darius Marder’s “Sound of Metal” is about coming to terms with a change so complete and final that it traumatically divides a person’s life into before and after segments. This film is  often painful to watch; it’s also deeply moving, thanks to a couple of killer performances.

A trip to the audiologist confirms that Ruben is rapidly losing his hearing. Whether the cause is his and Lou’s eardrum-shredding music or something more organic really doesn’t matter.  There’s not much that can be done.

Ruben’s crisis heightened by his being a recovering addict. Lou senses — probably rightly — that he’s likely to turn to drugs as a coping mechanism.  That’s why she gets online to find a rehab program aimed specifically at deaf people.

And so Ruben finds himself enrolled in a community operated by Joe (Paul Raci, absolutely incredible), a deaf man who offers a crash course in sign language while keeping his clients clean. Ruben is welcome…but like a G.I. in boot camp he must send Lou away and dump his cell phone. He has to learn a lot in a limited time.

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