Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Riz Ahmed reels you into the world of silence


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In an ideal world, we’ve been able to deal with the virus in the same way Thailand and Vietnam did. And I’d be writing a giddy review of “Godzilla vs. Kong,” which I had watched safely, masked and distanced at the IMAX. In a parallel universe, I’m with my regular movie viewing gang and we’re all getting our fingers on shared popcorn. I’ve almost forgotten what that is like but I am sure, when the sensation returns, I will absolutely relish it more than I ever have and never take it for granted.

In as much as there are several ways one can view this at home, I’m just afraid on a tiny screen, we’ll all be watching “Butiki vs. Matsing.”

The actor, rapper and activist is up for the Academy Award for Best Actor for his lead role in ‘Sound of Metal.’

There are some films that still pack a powerful punch even on a smaller screen like your TV. “Minari,” which I talked about last week is one such movie. And so is “Sound of Metal.”

“Sound of Metal” made its debut in September of 2019 at the Toronto Film Festival and was released in theaters and on the Prime Video platform late last year. However, it is getting renewed attention in outlets like the BBC, The New York Times and NME (New Music Express) because of the six Academy Award nominations it has received. The film is also being re-released in few cinemas around the world.

Darius Marder (who co-wrote the screenplay with Abraham Marder and Derek Cianfrance) directs this film about Ruben Stone, a punk/metal drummer who is losing his hearing. He is half of rock duo called Blackgammon. The other half is his partner, singer and guitarist, Lou (Olivia Cooke).


In the movie, Riz Ahmed plays Ruben Stone, a punk/metal drummer who is losing his hearing.

I was so worried it would depress me, as Ruben’s story connects so deeply with Lou’s. He tells her, “You’re my f—king heart.” It makes us remember love like that, the one relationship we had that was like that. Add to the mix, a mentor named Joe (Paul Raci) and a group of deaf school children.

But while the story got sad, I wouldn’t call it depressing — I think “bittersweet” would be a better word. At times when the pandemic may continue to keep us down, this film may not be such an easy watch but what kept me going was Riz Ahmed’s performance.

My heart broke a little watching this but it was worth it.

The actor, rapper and activist who is probably best known for his role in “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” as Bodhi Rook is up for the Academy Award for Best Actor. Paul Raci is a first time Best Supporting Actor nominee at age 72. The movie is also a candidate in the Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Sound and Best Film Editing.

The Sound of Metal is available on iTunes / Apple TV and on Prime Video.




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