That's right... forget films like E.T., Sleepless In Seattle, When Harry Met Sally, etc., I have the movie to leave you filled with joy, for days to come! '
CONTROL, directed by Anton Corbijn is a beautifully filmed biopic, telling the story of the adult life of IAN CURTIS, singer of the band JOY DIVISION. Now, before you fans of sappy love stories run to your Netflix accounts to put a reserve on this film, take a deep breath... breathe in through your nose... smell the sarcasm.
For those of you not familiar with the life (and death) of Ian Curtis, he was the lead vocalist of the band Joy Division. Following his death, in 1980, the surviving members of Joy Division carried on under the new moniker, NEW ORDER. New Order went on to international success, while Joy Division has remained a band with a constant cult status over the last three decades. This film follows his life from his last years in school, through meeting his wife, Debbie, through the incarnation of Joy Division. While singing with Joy Division, he fell in love with a Belgian journalist, which eventually tore his marriage apart. Apart from the chaos of his love life, Ian was also Epileptic. His seizures were severe, occasionally happening on stage.
The performances in this film were fantastic, including that of SAM RILEY (who played Curtis) and SAMANTHA MORTON, best known in the USA for her role in the Spielberg film, MINORITY REPORT, where she played one of the "precogs". In the concluding minutes of the film, when Curtis tries to make amends to his wife, the acting by Riley was so convincing, I literally wondered if he was, in fact, having a seizure. Being married to a wonderful woman with a seizure disorder, I know first hand what these sometimes scary incidents can look like. His portrayel of an Epileptic seizure was dead on.
In addition to the great performances, this film was beautifully shot by ANTON CORBIJN, who is probably best known for his music related photography, including his work with DEPECHE MODE and U2. If you remember all those beautiful black and white shots revolving around "THE JOSHUA TREE", then you know the work of Anton Corbijn. In addition to his photography, he also directed music videos by both bands, including the great videography from Depeche Mode's "VIOLATOR" and "MUSIC FOR THE MASSES". Nobody knows how to capture a scene like Anton.
This film is definitely NOT for everyone, but if you love a good Rock biopic, even if it has a sad ending, then you should see this. I must admit that I am not a huge fan of Joy Division, although I am a big fan of their more upbeat child, New Order. REGARDLESS, this film was something that I had a desire to see. And I'm glad I did. It moves you, although usually through some sad, and sometimes uncomfortable waters. I found the copy I viewed at our local public library. Check there... or go to Netflix... either way, I recommend this stirring movie for those that can handle watching a film without that cliche' Hollywood happy ending.