Control is the tumultuous journey of Ian Curtis, from a family man in the north to a jolting musician on stage performing with Joy Division. Corbijn confronts the icon’s unfortunate demise, fuelled by his guilt-ridden love life and medicated epilepsy.
Curtis’ character is entirely relatable. Unlike many other music mockumentaries which portray the musician as an idol that is worshipped for their careless attitude and seamless talents. Curtis is a flawed character.
He makes hasty decisions with his first love, aims to please her throughout, only to disappoint her, which, in effect, causes him disappoints himself. The further Joy Division goes, the further Curtis drifts away from his wife and daughter. And, while on the road, he falls in love with someone else. Battling with his lover at home and his lover on the road proves to be a big challenge. In a battle where he doesn’t want to fail either, he only ends up failing himself, to protect them.
The musician battles with epilepsy throughout the film. Whether on stage, or on the road, Curtis deals with the trauma of unpredictable fits, with unreliable medication. The plethora of pills are provided to him casually, all which contain several serious side-effects. This takes its toll on his life on stage and leads to the iconic visualisation of the Derby Hall riot in 1980.
Corbijn perfectly conveys the emotional and physical stress a talented and invested musician goes through to put on a show. Curtis’ role in Joy Division and music as a whole will never be forgotten, and the film further portrays the man behind the microphone.
director ANTON CORBIJN
director of photography MARTIN RUHE, JOHN WATSON
cast SAM RILEY, SAMANTHA MORTON, ALEXANDRA MARIA LARA, CRAIG PARKINSON and JOE ANDERSON
words PRIYESH PATEL
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