A metal/noise drummer suddenly experiences almost total hearing loss and has to deal with a complete upheaval of his nomadic life.

This came in with the 2021 Oscar for best sound design, and for good reason. Never treated like a gimmick, the audio design switches seamless from traditional cinematic mixing to diegetic character perspective to atmospheric sound that many of us would have taken for granted.

Riz Ahmed drops a fantastic performance as Ruben, drawing parallels with the drummer’s heroin addiction and the sudden withdrawal from that which had saved his life once before — music itself.

Comparisons are apt for 2004’s It’s All Gone, Pete Tong (a great mockumentary about a DJ undergoing a similar seachange following the loss of his hearing), but the ultimate trajectory, tone and message of the two stories are vastly different.

A powerful and moving, and at times abrasive, sensory experience. Well recommended.

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