Film Review: Sound of Metal

The Projector, Singapore’s iconic cinema which focuses on screening arthouse films, had kindly invited SADeaf to the press preview screening of the film “Sound of Metal” on 16 March 2021. The film, which is exclusively screened by The Projector, has been nominated for the 2021 Oscars in the following categories: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Film Editing, Best Sound, and Best Original Screenplay.

Two SADeaf staff attended the preview and penned their impressions here. Enjoy!

TWO WORLDS
By James Ong

The “Sound of Metal” is a story about a hearing man whose life was affected after being exposed to excessive noise. Eventually, he lost his hearing and decided to seek help. He decided to have a cochlear implant operation, but faced new struggles in the hearing world.

The highlights and themes of the movies for me were:

Subtitles and captions: It provides accessibility for the Deaf community who enjoys watching movies. Deaf and hard-of-hearing people can read the English subtitles. For sounds, we can also read the description of the sounds in square brackets.

Being deaf is not a handicap: That is not something to be fixed. At school, Deaf children enjoyed communicating with their peers. They found joy in using sign language. Sign language can be conveyed, thought, manipulated, and so on. The Deaf don’t need their deafness to be repaired or fixed.

Two different worlds: This man experienced two worlds – hearing and deaf. He once enjoyed music and had a hearing girlfriend. Suddenly the world of silence came in. He felt very frustrated at the loss of hearing. He was brought to the Deaf world. He again felt lost when he was asked to sit with the Deaf friends at the table. They were signing all the way. After getting the cochlear implant, he was in a dilemma as to whether to identify himself as a Deaf or hearing person. At the end of the story, he was given a choice between the hearing and Deaf worlds.

Concluding thoughts: The movie is a good exposure for the hearing in general and for them to understand how the hearing person who, having lost his hearing gradually, faces different issues in the hearing society. Which choice did the man make in the end? Watch the movie to find out!

TRULY TOUCHING
By Neo Hock Sik

“Sound of Metal” is a truly touching movie. It is about the challenges Ruben, a drummer, faced when he started to lose his hearing. It reflected the deaf ways of living and communication.

One memorable scene was when Ruben was first introduced to a group of deaf people in a church shelter who used American sign language. Ruben’s eyes were focused on the hand movements, but he could not grasp what they were talking about.

Another touching scene was when Ruben learnt how to fingerspell his name. And of course the incident when he joined a finger-spelling game in the church shelter, lost a few games and tried again until he beat someone, and we could see and feel that sense of achievement he felt. Ruben’s experience with his cochlear implants, which he sacrificed much to afford, was also an eye-opener.

To me, the movie shows that deafness is not a handicap and is accepted as part of the Deaf Culture. Sign language can be used as a communication language. Those who lose their hearing have to learn to accept themselves as part of the Deaf world. It gives valuable insights into life challenges associated with hearing loss. Hearing people will learn how to help deaf people to cope better with the hearing world. It shows that cochlear implants have both pros and cons.

I feel this movie will appeal to all, hearing and deaf, especially parents of deaf children and those who are interested to work with the Deaf.


SADeaf wishes to thank The Projector for the preview invite as well as sponsoring ten tickets to our clients to catch the film. 

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