Tuesday, September 23, 2008
What I liked about Control was that it was sort of the anti rock and roll biopic. I mean, it's got all the elements: the music, the humble beginnings, success, the drugs, the groupies, the failed marriages, and so on. But I don't think I've seen another movie approach this material so morosely, or so inwardly. Which is perfect, because this movie isn't really about music, it's about depression.
I didn't know much about Joy Division going into this one, outside of some familiarity with "Love Will Tear Us Apart," and after seeing it I'm still not sure I know much. It's told from the POV of the singer, Ian Curtis, who killed himself at age 23, and he's just so sullen and inward that all the usual drama, all the big moments that make up this kind of movie, barely register as a blip. We don't get much sense of how successful they became during his life, only that Curtis becomes increasingly upset by it. It's not a surprise in a movie like this that his life falls apart, I mean obviously knowing what happened to him it's all inevitable, but he doesn't even much seem to enjoy the spoils, short lived as they are. The Doors spends a lot of time on the wild times before it gets to the bad times. Hell, even Scarface was allowed to superficially enjoy his power for a while.
What I'm getting at is that there is usually a sense of fun to these kinds of movies that Control admirably lacks. Because if you're really miserable enough to kill yourself, this rock star shit couldn't have been that great to begin with.