Regina King’s feature directorial debut “One Night in Miami” is the Amazon-backed movie everyone is talking about right now, but the streaming service has another debut on the way that deserves considerable buzz: Darius Marder’s mesmerizing “Sound of Metal.” A world premiere at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival, “Sound of Metal” features “The Night Of” Emmy winner Riz Ahmed taking his acting talents to new heights as a drummer coping with hearing loss. Marder co-wrote the film with Abraham Marder based on a story he conceived with “Blue Valentine” and “The Place Beyond the Pines” writer-director Derek Cianfrance.
The official “Sound of Metal” synopsis reads: “Ruben is a drummer and one half of the duo Blackgammon along with his singer girlfriend Lou (Olivia Cooke). A former drug addict, he is sober for four years. Suddenly, he begins to lose his hearing. His sponsor makes him go meet Joe (Paul Raci), who leads a deaf community. With the help from them, Ruben struggles to accept his situation.”
IndieWire chief critic Eric Kohn gave “Sound of Metal” an A- review out of TIFF, writing, “As Ruben, the heavy-metal drummer going deaf at the center of the mesmerizing debut from writer-director Darius Marder, Ahmed conveys the complex frustrations of losing touch with the world around him no matter how much he fights to hold onto it.”
“This devastating conundrum relies on the best use of sound design in recent memory, as Marder immerses viewers within the confines of Ruben’s deteriorating relationship to the world around him, and he sorts through the wreckage to construct a new one,” Kohn adds. “Ahmed’s brilliant performance coasts on a complex soundscape that resonates even in total silence.”
Ahmed took drumming lessons for six months to prepare for his role in “Sound of Metal” and also learned American Sign Language. The project was shot in only four weeks. Dakota Johnson and Matthias Schoenaerts were originally cast in the lead roles until scheduling conflicts brought Ahmed and Cooke onto the project. The supporting cast also includes Lauren Ridloff and Mathieu Amalric.
Amazon will release “Sound of Metal” in theaters November 20, followed by a streaming debut via Prime Video on December 4. Watch the official trailer for the drama in the video below.