Riz Ahmed stars as Ruben in “Sound of Metal” (Photo courtesy of Amazon Studios).
The Sound of Lost Dreams and New Purpose
Do you know what your calling is in life?
Do you know the one thing that you were put on this Earth do, which means nothing else in life will satisfy you?
Well, imagine if that got taken away from you in a heartbeat, and there was nothing you could do to rectify the situation.
The movie “Sound of Metal,” deals with the cruelness of life when your entire world is snatched from you in a second and you face the dilemma of giving in or picking up the pieces and finding a new purpose in the midst of your tragedy.
When all is said and done, “Sound of Metal” comes across as a dope, touching, powerful and heartbreaking testament to the strength of man through all of life’s many trials and tribulations.
In “Sound of Metal,” Ruben (Riz Ahmed, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”) is the stereotypical up-and-coming, working heavy metal musician.
He and his girlfriend/band mate Lou (Olivia Cooke) have not made it big in the industry yet.
Ruben had a heroin problem in the past.
However, Ruben kicked the habit years ago and some success in the business has followed.
Despite no mainstream success, they tour on a regular basis.
They make a living and are on their way to the big time.
It is only a matter of time.
But just when a person thinks they are reaching the Promised Land, life comes at them fast.
In “Sound of Metal,” Lou and Ruben’s American dream has started to come to fruition.
Despite their limited income, and limited space in the R.V. that they live in, the couple could not have asked for much else in life.
The two can be described as soul mates.
They support each other’s dreams despite the lack of financial riches.
Ruben and Lou have much of the same interests in common.
Despite the fact that they are heavy metal musicians, the two share a love for all genres of music like many artists.
From the confines of their RV, the sounds of rhythm and blues, ragtime and the blues can be heard as much as heavy metal and hard rock.
But make no mistakes about it, when the band hits the stage it is strictly the loud sounds of heavy metal that dictate their performances.
Unfortunately, when things seem to be going well, tragedy and adversity strikes like it does often in life.
Ruben becomes sick.
However, he does not initially share his illness with Lou or others.
The illness even begins to adversely affect the band’s performances so much so that he has to at least tell Lou of his predicament.
A doctor has already told Ruben that he is losing his hearing and there is nothing he could do to reverse the trend.
Ruben’s condition has come as a result of past drug use and exposure to loud music.
The doctor advises Ruben to avoid loud noises for the time being.
The problem is that the band has a tour already booked and he does not want to miss the upcoming gigs and opportunities that the concert circuit presents to an up-and-coming musician.
Although Ruben’s health problem cannot be reversed, hearing implants can make his hearing a little bit better.
The problem is that hearing implants cost between $40,000 and $80,000 and insurance does not cover the procedure.
To add injury to insult, Ruben and Lou do not have many financial resources available to them, making the implants a pipe dream for him.
While Ruben struggles to accept his new reality, Lou finds him a safe space to rehabilitate and find new purpose in life.
But Ruben does not necessarily want to find a new purpose.
He had a purpose and because of his illness, that purpose has disappeared into thin air.
“Sound of Metal” is darn near excellent thematically and dramatically.
Ahmed delivers a heart wrenching and touching performance that many adults will relate to.
Many adults, and children for that matter, can relate to wanting something so badly and being great at it.
But then out of nowhere, that dream is snatched by some sick and twisted turn of fate.
Sports fans see it all the time.
In the early 1990s, two-sport athlete Bo Jackson had it all.
Jackson is still the only professional athlete to become an all-star in baseball and football.
The Auburn University alum appeared well on his way to entering the Hall of Fame in two sports.
Madison Avenue loved him as he appeared in countless advertising campaigns like the “Bo Knows” campaign with Nike.
Then one fateful Sunday, he hurt his hip while playing for the Los Angeles Raiders.
Jackson never played football again.
Furthermore, he was never quite the same on the baseball diamond as well.
But Jackson can still rest well at night because he pretty much reached his apex on the football and baseball fields.
Ruben represents the exact opposite and that is what is really heart-breaking.
And Ahmed made Ruben’s health dilemma personal for moviegoers.
Furthermore, filmmaker Darius Marder makes sure moviegoers feel Ruben’s pain by silencing or muffling the sound in the movie and replacing it with subtitles so that moviegoers will understand Ruben’s newfound plight.
But filmmaking aside, “Sound of Metal” will be heard loud and clear because the idea of lost dreams resonate with many because people will always experience the trials and tribulations called life.
The question is, can a person rebound after their dreams shatter and pick up the pieces?
“Sound of Metal” is now in select theaters and will stream on Amazon Prime Video beginning Dec. 4.
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