The Limits of Control is Jim Jarmusch’s new super chilled deep thinker. Set in the back streets of Spain (including a very cool square in Madrid I stayed at while visiting a friend a few years back), it follows a lone hit-man played by Isaach De Bankolé as he tracks down his target through a series of encounters with accomplices that point him in the right direction with mysterious messages and secret codes.
It’s by no means a film for everyone. A lot of people won’t appreciate a film like this; it’s slow, thoughtful, fantastical and minimalistic. However, for those that like a film with a heightened sense of insight, lines that provoke thought and debate and some beautifully shot scenes The Limits of Control will have you entranced.
As well as being a series of revelation inducing encounters, it also has elements of critique build around it. At times it feels like a critical analysis by example and statement on the state of populist film making.
By far the best parts of the film are the Loner’s inner search for enlightenment through art and music and his encounters with some incredibly interesting characters. Chief among these is a meeting with Tilda Swinton’s Blonde, in which she waxes lyrical about old school movies, while looking like a strikingly surreal starlet herself.
Everything leads up to the final encounter with Bill Murray’s American character where the concept of controlled control becomes apparent. If control is left unchecked, then it is all encompassing, so it in itself must be controlled, culled, by imagination to ensure freedom.
Another highlight of the film is the array of lines that swim around your head like paradigms. Some of the best include “life is arbitrary”, “if a man thinks he is better than all others then he should visit the cemetery. There he will find out what life is about. A handful of dirt.” and “How did you get in here? I used my imagination.”.
This is a film for the deep thinkers, for the introspective ones. It is laced with intelligence, cool and interest.
The Limits of Control film review: 3.9/5