20 Apr Movie Review – Control
Directed by Anton Corbijn (the man responsible for the beautiful black and white photography that visually defined Joy Division), Control is a stylish, visual delight, and an accurate summation of Manchester band Joy Division’s short, explosive history. Yet…
(Biopic, 122 minutes, Released October 2007)
|Directed by||Anton Corbijn|
|Produced by||Anton Corbijn
|Screenplay by||Matt Greenhalgh|
|Based on||Touching from a Distance by Deborah Curtis|
Alexandra Maria Lara
|Music by||New Order|
Directed by Anton Corbijn (the man responsible for the beautiful black and white photography that visually defined Joy Division), Control is a stylish, visual delight, and an accurate summation of Manchester band Joy Division’s short, explosive history.
Yet, even with the phenomenal Samantha Morton (In America) on board, and the incredible and tragic true story of frontman Ian Curtis far too short life as its subject matter, Control failed to pull at my heartstrings. Considering that I’m a huge Joy Division fan, AND a massive sook at the movies, I think I can safely assert that Control lacks emotional depth.
It must be noted that Sam Riley’s Ian Curtis is eerily close to its fascinating, heartbreaking real-life inspiration. However, physical and behavioural embodiment is only a partial component of real-life character portrayal. A biopic needs to create room, moments, opportunities within the narrative to intensify the connections between actors and the characters they play, and in turn the on-screen relationships that form and change within the story. Control is incredibly stingy in that regard. This is yet another sign that Corbijn’s direction is the weakest link.
Control is an audiovisually beautiful film, its style clearly modelled on Corbijn’s previous work with Joy Division. Atmosphere (a Joy Division music video Corbijn directed) tells a deeper story, and achieves greater impact than Control in less than 5 minutes. The story Control is based upon is, above all, about extremely intense parts of the human experience. Which makes it sting a little more that this film is style over ‘Substance’ (yup, JD pun).
I reckon if I get it out on DVD, turn down the sound, and put Unknown Pleasures on the Hi-Fi, I’ll start crying like a baby.