Sound of Metal

Director: Darius Marder
Year Released: 2019
Rating: 2.0

Ruben (Riz Ahmed) is in a heavy metal band (called Blackgammon) with his girlfriend Lou (Olivia Cooke) but starts to lose his hearing and can't play anymore - instead of getting top-notch medical care, she dumps him off at a commune for deaf junkies run by wizened ol' Joe (Paul Raci).  Without reading much about it in advance, I was hoping this was the long-awaited Jucifer biopic we've all be waiting for, but no ... and to be honest, I'm not sure what it's trying to say: while in the deaf community, Ruben learns ASL and gets along with his fellow hearing-impaired individuals (who don't believe deafness is a disability), but he gets booted when he commits the "sin" of selling his RV and getting cochlear implants.  Is Marder (who co-wrote the screenplay) arguing that you shouldn't rely on advanced medicine to help yourself if at all possible?  That silence is preferable to the sweet sound of an amp cranked up to 11?  And if Lou's father Richard (Mathieu Amalric) is loaded, why didn't they ask him for the money for the operation?  Everything Zen, everything Zen ... I don't think so.