Thursday, October 18, 2007

peter bradshaw is insane

I was really looking forward to seeing Control, Anton Corbijn's fim about the terribly sad story of Ian Curtis, the lead singer of the dismal/incendiary (delete according to preference) Manchester group Joy Division. Not least because, although the film itself sounded terribly dark, the Guardian film critic Peter Bradshaw wrote:

"Control is a film about England, about music, about loneliness and love; there is melancholy in it, but also a roar of energy. I thought it might depress me. Instead I left the cinema walking on air."
Tremendous, I thought, so it won't be that draining after all! Wrong; a fairly jaunty first forty five minutes aside, the vast majority of the film was like being punched in the stomach repeatedly. At the close of this tremendously beautiful, excellently acted film (Riley is terribly convincing as Curtis, and Samantha Morton's portrayal of Debbie is as finely wrought as you'd expect from Britain's finest actress) I felt bereft and anything but walking on air.

But that's not to say that Control is not a fine film; it says a lot about the Manchester of the seventies, paints a fine picture of a tortured individual, and does a creditable job of recapturing the spirit of a fantastic band. But god, I felt rubbish afterwards.

If you don't think you can take the emotional kick of the film, can I suggest you skip it by reading this review; easily the best blog post I've seen in a while.

And if you have seen it and disagree with me entirely, then go read Matthew's comments over at Fluxblog. He hated it:

The film is just awful; basically a pretentious tv movie. Granted, virtually all biopics are terrible -- how could they not be when they are nearly always super-linear hagiographies with no real narrative momentum -- but Control is an embarrassing mess of cliches, on-the-nose musical cues, and trite sentimentality. Really, don't bother, even if you totally love Joy Division.

1 comment:

Laura said...

Rob Gretton was ace. Without his humour I think the film would have left me feeling even more down!