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149 out of 171 people found the following review useful:

Depressingly Beautiful

9/10
Author: Gormley00 from Dallas, TX
7 October 2007

For every icon, there is an unknown predecessor who paves the way. Before there was Kurt Cobain, there was Ian Curtis, lead singer of the post-punk band, Joy Division. 27 years after his tragic death, Curtis' incredible contribution to music is finally being recognized in Anton Corbijn's film, "Control." It's only fitting that Corbijn serve as director since it was his early photographs of Joy Division that reflected the band's dark, introspective songs. Corbijn went on to photograph and direct videos for such musical greats as U2, David Bowie, Depeche Mode, R.E.M. and Metallica.

With his first feature film, Corbijn avoids the pitfalls of many music video directors who inundate us with flashy and unnecessary edits and camera angles. Instead, he lets the stark black and white of the film tell the story of a lead singer tortured by epilepsy, guilt, depression and suicidal thoughts. The use of black and white also captures the factory town of Manchester, England in the late 1970s, a city crumbling under industrial and economic stress. Manchester has since rebounded and is once again thriving.

Curtis is played by relative newcomer, Sam Riley, who's quiet and unassuming approach portrays an artist inspired by his heroes, David Bowie and Iggy Pop. At a chance meeting following a Sex Pistols concert, Curtis bonds with three fellow musicians to form the band.

As Joy Division begins to flourish, Ian's relationship with his young wife, Deborah, continues to distance itself. Academy Award nominee, Samantha Morton plays the confused wife trying to understand her husband's depressed soul. The film is based on Deborah Curtis' autobiography, "Touching From A Distance", so it comes as a surprise that Morton's character does not have more scenes in the movie.

The key to Control is understanding Curtis' depression, which the film accomplishes to near perfection. As he battles epilepsy, the young singer lives in constant fear that his next seizure will be his last. His only option is to swallow a daily cocktail of prescription drugs with side effects so terrible, that most of us would rather tempt fate than endure the aftermath of the pills.

Ian's spirit is also tortured by overwhelming guilt brought on by an extra-marital affair with a part-time journalist, played by Romanian-born Alexandra Maria Lara.

The most telling scene comes when Ian records an in-studio track for the song "Isolation." While Curtis stoically sings into the microphone, his band mates are distracted with the normal banter that typically occurs in a studio.

"Mother, I tried, please believe me. I'm doing the best that I can. I'm ashamed of the things I've been put through. I'm ashamed of the person I am." The lyrics seem to fall on deaf ears except for those of the sound engineer who refers to it as "genius." But Ian's brilliance is also a desperate cry for help ignored by everyone in the studio.

The 27-year-old Riley does an excellent job of capturing Curtis' aloofness on stage. Singers such as Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain and even the early years of Michael Stipe would often drift into the moment of the song. But when Curtis performed, he immersed himself into his own world where the music simply served as the soundtrack. Riley skillfully draws us into Ian's dark world with a range of subtle head movements and facial expressions to a whirling explosion of arm gyrations that came to personify the singer's stage performances.

Overwhelmed with grief, shame and depression, Ian finally succumbs to his demons at the young age of 23. He left behind a wife, a child and a musical legacy that is finally receiving its just rewards nearly three decades later.

For those looking for a story solely about Joy Division, Control may not be for you. But for those seeking an intuitive perspective into the anguished spirit of one of the most influential alternative bands in history, you will certainly find it in this depressing but incredibly beautiful film.

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146 out of 177 people found the following review useful:

Careers in a tightly controlled arc, where music biopic meets cinematic excellence

9/10
Author: Chris_Docker from United Kingdom
17 August 2007

Control, a biopic about a band from Manchester, is getting serious attention from around the world. Starting with an award in Cannes. That's maybe more than you might expect. Joy Division, a respected band of the 70s, are hardly a name on everyone's lips. And films made by ex music video directors about yet another load of rockers rarely raise eyebrows. So why is this different? Joy Division, for non-initiates, were a post-punk Manchester band of throbbing guitars and dark, doom-laden lyrics. Recognition in the music biz (especially by other musicians) was perhaps even greater after the death of lead singer, Ian Curtis. Control covers a period from his schooldays to his end in 1980 (aged 23). It is based on the biography of his widow.

Control uses Curtis' love of poetry, as well as the more familiar songs-that-tell-a-story device, to provide at least scant insight into the music. "I wish I were a Warhol silkscreen, hanging on the wall," he muses. But what is dealt with in much more detail is his growing sense of isolation, coping with epilepsy as the pressures of touring build up, and the distraught domestic relations he is embroiled in with wife Debbie (Samantha Morton) and romantic-interest-from-afar Annik (Alexandra Maria Lara). "It's like it's not happening to me but someone pretending to be me. Someone dressed in my skin," he says.

In a telling scene when he is under hypnosis, the camera revolves around his head as we hear voices speaking to him. "Ian, let me in, love," says his wife, "there's room to talk." Responsibilities as husband and father. A mistress who is also in love with him. A band and fan following who want more than he can give. From warholian, carefree screen-dream of youth, he has arrived at a place where he doesn't want to be. Drugs and their side-effects no longer a schoolboy's recreational laugh. Prescription bottles grip with morbid fascination. And the knowledge that doctors don't have a cure.

The film carries viewers away with blistering intensity. Relative newcomer Sam Riley plays Curtis with alarming energy. With Samantha Morton, it's not what she says but what you see going through her mind. She contains her expressiveness for the camera to pick up (rather than thrusting it on us). We want to cry inside for her character. As a feat of interiorisation, Control puts her as a contender in the shoes of Meryl Streep.

Supporting cast members come through with believability and sincerity, sparkling with well-honed contrasts. Toby Kebbell, fast-talking manager Rob, lifts us out of the depressive mood with wisecracks enough to make legless monkeys jump. "Where's my £20?" asks a hapless stand-in as Rob deals with an emergency. "In my f*ck-off pocket!" he barks back. Craig Parkinson is record producer and late TV presenter Tony Wilson (to whom the opening screening at the Edinburgh International Film Festival was dedicated). He demonstrates fine shades of teeth-gritting tolerance, explaining to the band, seconds before their first live TV show: yes, 'large dog's c*ck' counts as swearing, and would mean the broadcast is pulled. Established Romanian actress, Alexandra Maria Lara, succeeds in making Annik far more than the two-dimensional bit-of-fluff that would have been an easy course. As potential home-breaker, it is tempting to hate her, yet her character is shown with the intellectual appreciation and chemistry that Debbie can no longer offer.

Morton, in the Q&A after the Edinburgh premiere, links the film to Saturday Night and Sunday Morning. It is the kitchen-sink, downtrodden existence that her Debbie inhabits. Cinematography is also reminiscent of this period, with its careful black-and-white observation of working class streets. I watched it a second time, enjoying careful compositions and suggestive mise-en-scene. But director Anton Corbijn is typically modest. "I really wanted you to look at the actors on the screen and only afterwards at the look of the film." While Ian, in Debbie's eyes, might be the licentious and 'angry young man' of social realism drama, the Control scenes from which she is tormentedly absent show another side: the world experienced by her husband (a reference in the film likens his isolation to Brando's character in Apocalypse Now).

"And we would go on as though nothing was wrong. And hide from these days we remained all alone."

Riley takes on manic expressions as if marching away from an impending epileptic fit while singing Transmission. It is such a potent, almost frightening feat, that we have to shake ourselves to remember he only got the part when he was stuck for a job. "Not a lot was going on in my life before this, so I was appreciative – for the work and the money," he tells the opening night audience. "I imagine this will have opened doors for you," I had said to him earlier; he smiled like a man who still can't believe his good luck. But the 'luck' is very well deserved. His 'Ian' is physically and mentally complex. When I had managed to stop him on the Red Carpet long enough to congratulate him, Mr Riley explains that he had a friend who was an epileptic. "I witnessed an attack often enough to be able to copy it."

Although the film has a driving energy that takes our breath away, it drifts a little towards the tragic conclusion. We know the ending and it is a case of waiting for it to happen. And although it features plenty of excellent Joy Division tracks, any music biopic will never be good enough or accurate enough for some fans.

Fortunately this is not just for music fans but for serious film fans as well. It careers in a tightly controlled arc, where music biopic meets cinematic excellence. Why should you see it? "Some people visit the past for sentimental reasons," says Corbijn. "Some people visit the past to understand the present better." Control is not in the sentimental exercise category.

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119 out of 145 people found the following review useful:

An extremely moving experience

10/10
Author: Howard Schumann from Vancouver, B.C.
30 September 2007

Days away from embarking on a long dreamed about tour of the United States, Ian Curtis, the lead singer of the band Joy Division, hanged himself on May 23, 1980 from a rope in the kitchen of his apartment. His suicide not only ended his promising young life but also the dreams of a generation. Twenty seven years after his death, the eulogizing continues. Last year saw a documentary by Christian Davies: Joy Division: Under Review and this year has brought two more films: Joy Division: The Last True Story In Pop by Grant Gee and Control, the winner of the Camera d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival. Based on the 1996 memoir "Touching From a Distance" by Ian's widow Deborah Curtis, the film follows Curtis' life from his teenage years to his tragic death at age twenty three.

Unlike conventional bio-pics like Ray and Walk the Line with their star glamorizing propensities, Control delivers a three-dimensional portrait of a real human being and how his troubles affected the people closest to him. The film is directed by photographer and video director Anton Corbijn, a celebrated photographer who took some of the most recognized photos of Joy Division. Because he knew and worked with the band, the emotional connection to its subject is palpable. The film is shot in black and white and the choice underscores the grayness of Curtis' home town of Macclesfield, England and the grim mood of much of the work.

The major reason for the film's success, however, rests with lead actor Sam Riley who eerily recreates Curtis in appearance and voice. He performs all of the band's iconic songs such as Atmosphere, Love Will Tear Us Apart, and Twenty-Four Hours himself, using Curtis' robotic hand motions on stage to great effect. Another outstanding performance is that of Samantha Morton who plays Deborah Curtis, Ian's loving and patient wife who is overwhelmed by her husband's success and her new responsibilities as a mother of their daughter. Married at a very young age, both husband and wife lack the strength to make a go of it especially with the pressure of Curtis' epileptic seizures growing worse, and Ian's on again off again affair with Belgian journalist Annik (Alexandra Maria Lara).

Though the subject matter is melancholy, Matt Greenhalgh's script provides a light touch filled with trenchant one-liners from the group's manager Rob Gretton (Tony Kebbell) and witty remarks from band members Joe Anderson, James Anthony Pearson and Harry Treadaway. Although Curtis has become one of rock's most mythologized figures, Riley plays him simply as a very innocent, down to earth young man whose talent was much greater than his ability to handle it. Control is an extremely moving experience whether or not you have foreknowledge of the events of Curtis' life. It is a film that has the power to touch and leave memories that are indelible.

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76 out of 103 people found the following review useful:

A stunning and moving portrait.

8/10
Author: come2whereimfrom from United Kingdom
1 July 2007

Making the leap from photographer to music video director to film director, Anton Corbijn's feature length debut 'Control' is quite simply stunning. Shot entirely in black and white it tell the story of Ian Curtis the lead singer with Manchester band Joy Division but its also much more than that it also tells of one mans journey into the heart of darkness (Apocalypse Now is mentioned in the film) a journey of fear, paranoia, illness and depression. Curtis has been played in films before but only as bit parts (24 hour party people etc) here he is portrayed breathtakingly by Sam Riley who played Mark E Smith in 24 hour party people and when he first appears on the screen I have to admit I wasn't convinced but as Ian the person grows so too does Riley into the role and at times he has him so down to a tee its hard to imagine its not the real Curtis up there. The rest of the band are pretty good as well but are only really second fiddle to Riley but you have to give them credit for learning all the songs and playing them live rather than mime. Samantha Morton is great as the put upon wife Deborah and Craig Parkinson is convincing enough as Tony Wilson but apart from Riley's stand out performance its Toby Kebbell as manager Rob Gretton who has some of the best lines and has come so far since his role in 'Dead Man's Shoes'. The cinematography is a visual feast for the eyes, being shot in black and white adds to the mood and gives a haunting feel that echo's the music and lyrics of the band, it also means (and I guess its Corbijn's photography background) that so many of the shots in the movie could be still images they are framed so well. Although never really explained in terms of answers, Curtis's illness from the seizures to the depression and the hopeless sense of falling apart reminded me of Catherine Deneuve in Polanski's 'Repulsion' another black and white film that deals with madness. I guess that treating mental illnesses was still in its infancy in the seventies, yes we'd stopped electro-shocking people but medications were still being developed and trialled. It seems it was very easy for Curtis to reach a certain point what with juggling home, life on the road, his condition and the pressure of increasing fame but when it came to helping him out he really was on his own and did feel a sense of 'isolation'. But with a story that has a widely known end point its more about the journey and here Corbjin punctures the narrative with some truly witty moments while leading up the incredibly moving and inevitable finale. Handled brilliantly by all involved this is another example of a great British film that deserves all the accolades it is receiving and if this performance is anything to go by expect Riley to be very big indeed.

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44 out of 55 people found the following review useful:

Rise and fall of a rock legend in evocative black and white

8/10
Author: Chris Knipp from Berkeley, California
12 October 2007

The first thing that strikes you about 'Control' is its silence, and the chilly beauty of its black and white images. As a still photographer first-time director Anton Corbijn photographed Joy Division in black and white during their short existence. He knows how to get the remorselessly grim feel of the north of England in the late Seventies. (The boys came from the outskirts of Manchester. Joy Division formed in 1976.) This film (there's a documentary just coming out on the band too) is loosely based on a memoir of her marriage by Deborah Curtis, lead singer Ian Curtis' young wife, who had a baby girl by him and then tragically found him after he'd hanged himself in 1980, two months short of his twenty-fourth birthday, just as the band was to tour America for the first time.

'Control's' strength is a certain recessiveness. In the English style, it's offhand and avoids huge dramatic crescendos. That's refreshing. And besides the images and the restraint, the film is worth seeing for the concert sequences. The cast actually plays the Joy Division music live, and Sam Riley, who plays Ian Curtis, not only closely resembles him, but is a riveting and intense, almost at times scary, performer. When he says the public doesn't know how much of himself he puts into his performances, we know what he means.

The film is excellent at showing Ian's dilemmas. The band is a sudden success. He has an attack in their car as the band returns from a gig. Doctors tell him he has a form of epilepsy. He's given a fistful of pills to take every day and told to have early nights and stay off the booze. How faithfully he takes the pills is unclear but he suffers from their side effects in various ways, while late nights and booze are essentials of his existence. It doesn't seem that the English doctors knew very well how to treat him, and he was so busy performing he didn't take the time to go to specialists and have more extensive tests.

Ian had gotten married to Deborah (Samantha Morton) early--too early. On the road he meets a Belgian part-time journalist, Annik Honoré (Alexandra Maria Lara), and they fall uneasily in love. He's not strong enough to decide between the two women. Fear that his disease will only get worse hounds him, and the fits go on. Riley is fascinating to watch as he undergoes an increasingly visible meltdown. Other cast members are cyphers, though Joe Anderson, who has the role of Max in Taymor's Across the Universe, is the lead guitarist. Morton has a drab role but Deborah's unfortunate situation is present as a constant counterpart to Ian's story. The two other important characters are the Manchester music guru Tony Wilson (Craig Parkinson) and the band's wise-guy manager Rob Gretton (Toby Kebbell).

The creative inspiration of the band, the nature of their songs, the cast of their lyrics, the reason why Joy Division is a cult band today when it only existed for four years--these are matters the film is unable to elucidate. Watch it for the cool visuals, for the tall, soulful Sam Riley, and for the terrific live performance scenes. Enjoy the understatement, and the silence. Don't expect more.

Harvey Weinstein has chosen both for Control and for the soon-to-open Todd Haynes Bob Dylan film I'm Not There to have a slowly-unrolling distribution system, and hopes to bestow early cult status on both films by having them premiere at that temple of cinephilia, Film Forum, in lower Manhattan, New York City, and wait for the buzz of the cognoscenti to multiply and spread. It may work. But both films are tough sells. But A.E. Scott of the NYTimes has said Control is "enigmatic and moving, much in the manner of Joy Division's best songs." And that's a good send-off.

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36 out of 41 people found the following review useful:

Style and Romance

8/10
Author: tmk1 from New York City
18 October 2007

I saw this film last night then I went home and read a lot of the comments here. I think some things have been missed between the glowing reviews and the bitter disappointments.

First, it is a truly beautiful film and I found the acting uniformly excellent. That has already been said plenty of times.

More interesting to me are the comments about this not being an accurate or fair portrait of Ian Curtis and those around him. I've read plenty of accounts that characterize Ian and his band-mates as relentless practical jokers -- the book Torn Apart by Mick Middles and Lindsay Reade is full of these anecdotes. But I also think it's naive to expect a film like this to be anything close to a fair and objective telling of anyone's life. This is a dramatic interpretation, not a documentary.

In addition to the multiple meanings the title has for the characters in the film, this film is itself an exercise in CONTROL: Deborah Curtis's control over her husband's legacy; the surviving band members' control over the public image of Joy Division.

No, the film does not show the laughs and good times the band had, but this is in keeping with all of Joy Division's work. Their entire output as a living band was highly stylized. Almost everything they issued was in stark black and white; their imagery was overwhelmingly bleak and funereal; and they certainly courted controversy with their name and imagery. All of which was very consciously and tightly CONTROLLED by the band and the people at Factory. They gave few interviews and preferred to let the work speak for itself.

My point is that this film simply continues that project. It is yet another highly stylized piece of work in the Joy Division canon. To paraphrase the Tony Wilson remark that has been cited elsewhere in these comments -- when you have the choice between the legend and the facts, go with the legend. Their work has always had an epic, legendary quality. This movie is absolutely in keeping with that aesthetic.

I think it's also worth noting that Corbijn was a participant in shaping the Joy Division legacy from the very start -- his photographs of the band helped shape their image and his video for "Atmosphere" set the tone for how their legacy would be preserved. CONTROL is simply another collaboration with the band and their music. An extension of that original project.

I think that ultimately this film is an excellent piece of work. Just as Joy Division produced music of astonishing beauty and resonance out of the misery of life in post-industrial England, this film turns personal pain and loss into a powerful piece of art.

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41 out of 56 people found the following review useful:

Walk in silence, don't walk away in silence.

10/10
Author: JohnRouseMerriottChard from United Kingdom
15 March 2008

For me personally writing a comment for Control has proved to be a very difficult thing, my love of the band Joy Division has stayed with me from the very first moment I listened to the Unknown Pleasures album back in 1979. I remember Ian Curtis's death like it was yesterday, and no matter how many years roll by, I still feel an immense sadness when listening to the bands poetic beauty. I was mightily relieved after reading Deborah Curtis's book Touching From A Distance, for I found it refreshingly honest, and certainly it helped people get in a bit deeper to just what a troubled young man Ian Curtis was. So here we are in 2008 and the film adaptation of that book has arrived with truly brilliant results.

I have found it hard to write a comment for it because I have to cast aside my biased love of the band, but hopefully I've managed to view it objectively with both my head and my heart. Control is a film about Ian Curtis, the lead singer of the band Joy Division, people expecting an in-depth film about the band will be a little disappointed because this is the story of their lead singer, a troubled young man who just couldn't face it anymore. Filmed in black & white to perfectly capture the essence of the man the film is about, director Anton Corbijn has stayed loyal to the source material and crafted a haunting piece of work that lingers long after the final credits roll.

We follow Ian Curtis from his humble music leanings in the early 70s, here he meets Deborah who is soon to become his wife, a married man at the age of 18. We watch him join a group of Manchester lads at a Sex Pistols concert, it is here that the roots of Joy Division are formed. Then it's on to the formation of Factory records and the influential Svengali Tony Wilson. As the band start to make waves Ian Curtis becomes ill with epilepsy, and it's here that Corbijn crucially shows that the doctors involved really didn't have a clue how to treat him properly, trial and error with cocktails of drugs indeed.

Deborah and Ian become parents to Natalie, but Ian is away on the road for many days and nights, and it's here that he yearns for love from another quarter, and it's here that his infidelity will hang heavy on his already sunken shoulders. The band are set to make it big, their manager announces that they are about to tour America for the first time, this only adds another fraught string to Ian's already fractured bow, the pressure of fame a lethal bedfellow with Messrs epilepsy and infidelity, and then? I can't praise the work on this film enough, Sam Riley {relatively unknown outside of his hometown of Leeds} is simply brilliant as Curtis, dragging the viewer in completely on this desperately sad journey. Samantha Morton as Deborah is immense, she nails the emotional see-saw role with professional aplomb, and I would also like to raise a glass for the performance of the criminally undervalued Toby Kebbell (Dead Man's Shoes, Wilderness) his turn as Joy Division's manager Rob Gretton is down pat. Director Corbijn clearly had love for the project, and thankfully he was sensible enough to not over do the sentimental aspect of the troubled star. What Corbijn has done is perfectly frame the bleaker side of the story with old terraced houses and monstrous looking high rise's, they scream out as dank and dreary statements in black & white, yet they are overlooked by rolling hills to serve as a reminder when Curtis was at his happiest during the courtship with Deborah. Some scenes are unforgettable, such is the power of the emotion on offer, look out for the stunning appearance of heart tugging song Love Will Tear Us Apart, a crucial and poignant scene, and of course the film's tragic outcome hits like a sledgehammer. To which I thank Corbijn for giving us a very tasteful conclusion to this sad sad story.

So there it is, was I biased? I like to think I wasn't because I honestly feel that one doesn't have to be a fan of the band to get much from this movie. The film has won many awards, and I'm happy to report that Control has brought renewed interest in the beautiful/haunting work of one of England's greatest ever bands. Remastered CDs, reissued books, and even T-shirts are selling well in the shops as I type.

Control is a very sobering experience for fans and newcomers alike. 10/10

RIP Ian Curtis, you are very much missed.

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47 out of 68 people found the following review useful:

Surprised that it was so good

9/10
Author: i-burgess1 from United Kingdom
5 October 2007

I read the reviews of this film and decided it was worth a punt. I have to say that although I was in Manchester during the 1970s I was not a fan of Punk music. This film is beautifully made - almost like a 1950/60s kitchen sink film of the gritty north (there are worse places than Macclesfield, believe me!). I don't know Joy Divsion's work but the acting in this film by the major players was excellent. Sam Riley as Curtis is very very good as is Samantha Morton as his downtrodden wife. I thought the guy who played the manager was a bit OTT. What a shame that Tony Wilson died before this was released. My reaction to it was much like the one I had to Trainspotting. I was convinced that I wouldn't like it but came away feeling that this was a very important film. Even if you don't know Punk music or Joy Division - go along. Well worth it.

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42 out of 59 people found the following review useful:

stunning piece of work.......

10/10
Author: neil garvey from Ireland
9 October 2007

Anton Corbin has created a film that perfectly showcases both the music of Joy Division and the short but fruitful life of Ian Curtis. The choice to film in black and white was the right one. It sets the tone perfectly for Ian Curtis' gray and lifeless hometown of Macclesfield in 1973.

Corbin as a first time director excels utilizing his visual and technical skills from his previous life as a music video director. Thankfully Control is not just a beautiful looking movie but a perfectly pitched study of the rise and tragic fall of the tortured Ian Curtis. The intensity of the live music performances in the film are as visceral as those of the real band. It is a credit to the actors that they played everything live on screen, it serves to create memorable performances.

Sam Riley delivers a towering performance as Curtis. The first time actor is a name to watch. He is surrounded by a great cast but the film is carried on Riley's shoulders.His inner turmoil is conveyed with great humanity and realism. The audience was still and quiet for quite some time after the credits rolled at the screening I attended.

There are some very clever and touching uses of the music in the film. Corbin uses the intensity of Curtis' lyrics to help paint a biographical picture of the man. The use of 'Love will tear us apart' in the movie was particularly inspired giving the context of the scene it was played in. I hope you will go see this powerful and moving film to see what I am talking about.

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40 out of 67 people found the following review useful:

Atrocity Exhibition - Too Easy to Watch

2/10
Author: Matthew Walker from United Kingdom
9 October 2007

Well...to be brutally honest, it was terrible. The film was really very weak and didn't entice in any way. The thing looked quite nice, all black and white monochrome photography, but even that was only good in spurts.

Full of rock biopic cliché's, it was simply too easy to watch, a factor that jarred considerably with the dynamic that made Joy Division (and Ian Curtis) appeal to such a vast amount of people. This dynamic, typified by eerie and haunting atmospheres(excuse me) which seem horribly alienating at first but ultimately draw you in with the accurate depiction of the depths and despair of the human mind, is something that sets the band apart from the crowd. They created their own unique sound that transcended boundaries and created a new strand of punk music. This film was an opportunity to apply that ethic to another medium, to truly realise the essence of the man and the band.

The line (paraphrasing): "It feels like its somebody else, just wearing my skin" is indicative of the films outward appeal and its mainstream tendencies. In fact, the film is far more malignant and sinister than Curtis' own dissolution.

A travesty. The good bits(or the bits that weren't really bad), which were mainly the parts where the band were playing gigs, only served to make you feel horribly let down at how good the film could have been and how much of an injustice the source material had been paid.

The casting seemed good on paper, having an unknown playing the main part and giving Samantha Morton a supporting role as the suffering wife. But it just didn't work. Morton was a cliché of the down-trodden and doting wife, all watery eyed and desperately attempting to put their problems out of her mind, and Sam Riley was far too much like a certain more modern 'punk icon', Pete Doherty. It was bizarre, I couldn't get him out of my mind, the big drawn eyes, the wiry gangly frame, the cocky charm, the theatrically wistful stare, it was ridiculous... And from what's been written, nothing like Ian Curtis; he wasn't attractive, he wasn't likable; he was an ugly, cold, self-involved person, and knew it.

I won't mention the rest of the cast, as I feel I may just sound like an angry Joy Division fan. Suffice to say, the earlier comment about rock biopic clichés applies.

I was so disappointed, thought it was going be good and it just wasn't. Simple as that. And I hate it when films try to condone suicide, its such a pathetic thing to do, the guy had plenty of people who cared about him, but still he screwed them all over. Some would argue that it doesn't condone it, it simply shows it, but this I would disagree with.

Saying that, go see it, the songs are played well for the most part(the band who play Joy Division are actually a Leeds band in real life, and actually play the songs), and there are one or two really nice shots of Maccelsfield(!), particularly towards the start. One in particular of the couple sat under a tree just before he proposes sticks out. You may like it, I don't know, it seems plenty of people do for some reason!

I appreciate that many will disagree with my opinions, which is fine, but just know that I care very much about cinema, and am very worried and disturbed when films such as this receive such acclaim.

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