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Don’t Squish the Squashes: “Control” and “Hannah Montana: The Movie”

words by Kevin Munley
03.28.2012

With the creation of reality TV, everyone has the chance to become a celebrity.  The American Dream has been rewritten. No longer do you work your way up from the bottom — instead you can go on “Wife Swap” or have sex with a “Snooki.”

But is celebrity really desirable? Although they are two very different movies, both Control and Hannah Montana: the Movie show Miley Cyrus and Ian Curtis struggling with the overbearing love of their fans, and suggest to the audience that the simple life of raising cows or children is more appealing than anything Hollywood has to offer.

Suicide isn’t a bad way out either. Just make it glamorous.

For years, urban legends existed that Ian Curtis hung himself on a block of ice patiently waiting for it to melt.  Of course, this isn’t true, but Control still carries on the tradition of romanticizing his death to the point of a bipolar wet dream:

Although it comes from the subjective viewpoint of his maligned wife, Control is supposed to offer the viewer some insight to the events that led to Curtis’s suicide. Guilt? Epilepsy? Celebrity?It’s all put out there.

Ian is a “great guy” who cries a lot about the fact that he is cheating on his wife (the mother of his child) with a European groupie, but he believes in true love and is a very sensitive soul. His desire to do what he feels is right versus what he wants to do leads him down a path of self-destruction. He seems to be empowered by the worst elements of stardom while trying to cling to the fact that he is still an empathetic human being. When he can’t fill that illusion anymore, he creates the ultimate jerk-off death scene for sullen hipsters to wank to for years to come.

After all this sad post-punk music, you’ll be in the mood for some crunked Southern rap with a cough syrup-esque flow…

Based on the Disney TV show, Hannah Montana: The Movie takes the stance that celebrity ruins family. Miley, playing a somewhat fictionalized version of herself, maintains a normal and sane life (at least, as normal as can be reasonably expected with Billy Ray as your pappy) by periodically escaping to the country to clean the chicken coops and milk the cows, rather than becoming ruined by Hollywood execs.  Where Control shows the havoc that celebrity status can wreak upon families, Hannah Montana shows a relatively normal girl experiencing love and shopping, with a side plot involving an evil mall CEO (who’s probably an oil tycoon too). Miley understands that her stardom isn’t what she loves — it’s the singing. In the end, Miley reveals this secret to a crowd of screaming fans, but they encourage her to not change and remain in hiding.

It’s obvious to me that if Ian Curtis had an alter ego, he would still be alive and well today. He could put on a pair of denim overalls ride out to the midlands and write pastoral poetry about sparrow shit on the side of the silo. And it would be all about the music and nothing else.

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  • heather

    Love this…great mental picture — “He could put on a pair of denim overalls ride out to the midlands and write pastoral poetry about sparrow shit on the side of the silo.”

    • Kevin

      Its how I stay sane when the world has got me down.