Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Control (Anton Corbijn, 2007)


As far as biopics of troubled musicians go, this one, detailing the personal more than the creative life of Joy Division's Ian Curtis, is a watchable one, though it's deeply flawed. Director Anton Corbijn and writer Matt Greenhalgh - predictably - want to present Curtis (played by Sam Riley) as a misunderstood genius, yet they give him the dialogue of an angsty teenager. And, with his emotional range limited between skinny brooding hipster and skinny misty-eyed hipster, Riley doesn't contribute any further layers. Within this context, even his lyrics sound whiny. You're bound to feel sympathy for a man driven to suicide at the age of 23 by epilepsy and mistakes he made as a teen, but you can do that from reading a newspaper article. The Ian Curtis who mopes and hazes his way through Corbijn's film doesn't warrant feature length nor Samantha Morton as his wife (doing her best with a dog of a role).
It has to be noted though that while Corbijn fails to grasp the complexity of Curtis' character, he does capture the beauty and impact of his music.


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