Control (2007)

Control is one of the few music biopics that transcends the often dull genre. I don’t think it transcends it far enough to become something great, but it does rise above the generally poor pickings of the genre to be something compelling enough in its own right. Filmed in stark black and white (well, apparently it was filmed in colour and later converted to black and white, but the visuals are striking nonetheless), it follows the story of the great

Filmed in stark black and white (well, apparently it was filmed in colour and later converted to black and white, but the visuals are striking nonetheless), it follows the story of the great Joy Division, particularly its troubled singer Ian Curtis.

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The film follows Curtis’ life linearly, his relationship with Deborah Curtis being the main throughline of the film. Characters in the film don’t tend to act particularly admirably, but Curtis’ angst and pain will be familiar and relatable to many.

I feel there’s a bit of a missing link between the men and the music. Perhaps more development of the other members of the band would have helped. I suppose it’s a film about Ian Curtis, not Joy Division, to be specific, but the focus is so heavily on the music that I feel some more connective tissue between all four members of the band and the music they made, that features so heavily in the film, would have been nice.

The film falls into more biopic traps in the second half, but that’s the nature of Curtis’ life I suppose. Still, very worthy watching for any Joy Division fan, and a good film in its own right besides. I give it three hearts and souls, and a means to an end.

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