Set in the diamond district of New York City, Howard Ratner, a jewelry store owner and dealer to the rich and famous, must find a way to pay his debts when his merchandise is taken from one of his top sellers and girlfriend.
Eddie Murphy portrays real-life legend Rudy Ray Moore, a comedy and rap pioneer who proved naysayers wrong when his hilarious, obscene, kung-fu fighting alter ego, Dolemite, became a 1970s Blaxploitation phenomenon.
Inspired by real events about the French New Wave darling and Breathless star, Jean Seberg, who in the late 1960s was targeted by Hoover's FBI, because of her political and romantic involvement with civil rights activist Hakim Jamal.
After learning that his terminally ill wife has six months to live, a man welcomes the support of his best friend who moves into their home to help out. His impact on the whole family is much greater than anyone could have imagined.
I was incredibly fortunate to have seen Sound of Metal at the Toronto International Film Festival including a Q&A after with the director and cast. Whereas a lot of films may take the storyline into melodramatic territory, Sound of Metal explores not only the reality of those who are deaf which is so poorly represented in film and television but also the destructive nature and high cost of denial and self-deception in the face of hard truths.
By focusing on someone whose entire existence revolves around a world of sound losing that which defines his life, it gives the viewer pause to consider what life can be like when we learn to accept and let go. There is so much more to life than the small corners of existence we live in and this film paints that reality with both tremendous empathy and a bluntness that lesser writers and directors would avoid.
In addition, one really has to commend the direction and design of this film's audio. It is clear that a great deal of thought went into how to use sound in this film. From the in-your-face pounding of metal music at the start through the muffled reality as the protagonist loses his hearing to the sense of peace in the moments of silence, it is clear that a great deal of painstaking detail was crafted in conveying this film's reality.
Sound of Metal is one of those films which will keep you thinking for days after about so many aspects of life such as addiction and how some relationships may simply serve a purpose in the short term for our life but ultimately must be let go. How it illuminates aspects of the deaf community that few get a chance to see is important. But there is so much more to this film that to pigeonhole it as merely being about deaf people does a grand disservice to the many fantastic qualities in every aspect of its creation. I highly recommend taking the time to watch this film.
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