The film mainly concentrates on the last seven years of Curtis’ life and never once seeks to sensationalize or romanticize him. In some ways Control is similar in style to the 1960’s Northern kitchen sink dramas with its central storyline of a moody teenager whose aspirations in life are put in check by the daily realities of married life. Of course the film is so much more than that with Curtis’ inner turmoil never far from view. His suicide, at only 23, has been well documented over the subsequent years and is never far from your mind as the film unfolds towards its inevitable conclusion. Corbijn sank large amounts of his own money into making Control and his passion and commitment to the subject shines through the entire movie. Shot in black and white the film captures the mood of industrial Manchester in the late 70’s and is essential viewing for fans of the timeless soundscapes of Joy Division.
Wonderful cinematography, terrific performances and the majestic music of Joy Division combine seamlessly to make one of best rock biopics you will see.