Control

"Good"

Control Review


Ian Curtis was only 23 when he hung himself in the kitchen of his wife's house on May 18th, 1980 in Manchester, England. His band, Joy Division, had been only responsible for one album, 1979's Unknown Pleasures, while the finishing touches were being put on the second, 1980's Closer. These two pesky albums, along with a single "Love Will Tear Us Apart," would constitute posthumous fandom unlike anyone could have imagined. Both Pleasures and Closer were futuristic pieces of musical intrigue that ignored the nostalgia boasted by the bands that influenced them; Bowie and Iggy Pop sure looked futuristic, but their music was only somewhat forward-looking. Uniformly, Anton Corbijn's Control's ostentatious demeanor belies a somewhat routine ponderance of Curtis' abruptly interrupted popularity.

When we first come across Curtis (a well-researched Sam Riley), he is rushing home with a copy of Aladdin Sane under his arm. Like any experimental teen of that era, he dances and contorts in androgynous bliss while his parents quietly read the paper and prepare dinner in the other room. His quick courtship and marriage to Deborah (the consummate Samantha Morton) quickly sticks him in a go-nowhere house with a go-nowhere job at an employment office. Curtis, like most of England, gets a kick in the knickers when he hears The Sex Pistols for the first time, immediately walking into the street and inquiring whether his friends still need a singer for their band Warsaw.

There are moments that will make any Division fan wince. In a long take, Deborah and Ian walk down a street, passive aggressively hassling each other until Ian comes out and says that he doesn't think he loves her anymore; cue "Love Will Tear Us Apart." Not to mention hearing "Atmosphere" played for the umpteenth time to signal Curtis' demise: an eye-rollable offense. An attempt at finding Curtis' final reasoning is a fool's errand that Corbijn can't help but fall for, but for every scene of inescapable creation and familial bickering, there are also moments of devastating solitude that Corbijn, a famed photographer, captures acutely.

Shot beautifully by promising cinematographer Martin Ruhe, Control's first half has a more rambunctious energy that eventually fizzles out. Corbijn invests the early rumblings of the band with humor and fetishized moments of production. The band incapable of doing anything but farting before their first gig is especially ingenious, but Corbijn's staggering recreation of the band's first appearance on Tony Wilson's show playing "Transmission" is easily distinguishable as the film's peak.

Altogether, Control distances itself from the fray but it also can't distinguish itself as a substantial foot forward. Corbijn, a friend of the band in his early days, doesn't address the mythology of Curtis, in turn disregarding his importance and relegating him only to the moments of personal anguish that every Division fan already knows about (his seizures, his affair with a journalist). By defining him by the same actions as any other music legend, Corbijn commits the crime of turning Curtis into just another music legend.

Love tore him apart.



Control

Facts and Figures

Run time: 122 mins

In Theaters: Friday 5th October 2007

Box Office USA: $0.8M

Box Office Worldwide: $8.2M

Distributed by: The Weinstein Company

Production compaines: Becker International, Claraflora, EM Media, NorthSee

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 86%
Fresh: 96 Rotten: 15

IMDB: 7.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Orian Williams, Todd Eckert

Starring: as Ian Curtis, as Debbie Curtis, as Annik Honoré, as Hooky, James Anthony Pearson as Bernard Sumner, as Rob Greton, Craig Parkinson as Tony Wilson, as Steve Morris, as Kevin

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The Party Movie Review

The Party Movie Review

Comedies don't get much darker than this pitch-black British movie, written and directed by Sally...

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) is on his way to becoming the new Woody Allen, which...

6 Below Movie Review

6 Below Movie Review

Based on an astonishing true survival story, this film is subtitled "Miracle on the Mountain",...

Mother Movie Review

Mother Movie Review

Darren Aronofsky doesn't make fluffy movies, and has only had one genuine misfire (2014's Noah)....

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

It's been 35 years since Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic, which was set in 2019....

On the Road Movie Review

On the Road Movie Review

Wolf Alice fans are likely to be rather disappointed by this hybrid documentary-drama about the...

Borg/McEnroe Movie Review

Borg/McEnroe Movie Review

Skilfully made by Swedish filmmaker Janus Metz (the award-winning Armadillo), this film is essentially a...

Advertisement
The Glass Castle Movie Review

The Glass Castle Movie Review

There are quite a few terrific moments in this true story, based on the memoir...

Home Again Movie Review

Home Again Movie Review

Reese Witherspoon is so likeable that she can carry even the most hackneyed of romantic...

Brimstone Movie Review

Brimstone Movie Review

An unnerving Western with a sharp female perspective, this film is a series of gruesome...

Kingsman: The Golden Circle Movie Review

Kingsman: The Golden Circle Movie Review

Two years ago, Kingsman: The Secret Service seemed to come out of nowhere, ruffling feathers...

Goodbye Christopher Robin Movie Review

Goodbye Christopher Robin Movie Review

This biopic about Winnie the Pooh author A.A. Milne may look like the usual lushly...

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.