Tiff Review: Riz Ahmed Struggles with Silence in the Intensely Emotional ‘Sound of Metal’

Sound of Metal opens with Riz Ahmed’s Ruben sitting at a drum kit while guitar distortions deafen us. Eventually, Olivia Cooke’s Lou starts screaming as his sticks connect for a steady beat until all hell breaks loose. We’re in this venue with them, the in-close camerawork proving Ahmed’s lessons paid off because he is in a groove and rocking out (not that he needed help on the second part considering his rap career as Riz Mc and one half of Swet Shop Boys). With line drawn tattoos covering his chest, bleach-blonde hair, and that screaming, you’re probably assuming the after show will consist of booze and drugs before the visuals cut to a new day of health shakes and eggs in an Rv. Appearances can be deceiving.

That’s when writer-director Darius Marder rips the rug from under his lead via an incessant ring. A
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