The Limits of Control: DVD Review
The Limits of Control
by Universal Home Entertainment
Isaach De Bankolé, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Gael García Bernal, Hiam Abbass,
Paz de la Huerta, Alex Descas, John Hurt
Man (Isaach De Bankolé) is a criminal hitman, hired to do a job in Spain.
Through a series of encounters with pivotal contacts,
he begins to edge closer to his target - but the nearer he gets to the hit, the
more tangled the web becomes - who can he trust?
The Limits of Control is not your average film- with hardly any
dialogue throughout and only the minimal soundtrack, it's not going to appeal to
Even the sparse dialogue is repeated
throughout the film at various junctures and every precious word which is
spoken, is pivotal, looped and recycled.
idiosyncracies and actions of the Lone Man are also looped - each day begins
with him doing his tai chi before demanding two espressos in separate cups at
cafes in each locale where he finds himself.
meeting starts the same way with a contact asking him "You don't speak Spanish,
right?" before passing him a matchbox with a piece of paper inside. As he pieces
together the puzzles of where he's meant to go, we learn at the same time he
However, it's not really about the plot -
this is a Jim Jarmusch exercise in cool and minimalism - as well as cameos - the
best being Bill Murray (but to reveal much about that would spoil the film.)
John Hurt and Tilda Swinton appear in scenes, espouse some philosophy
with our hitman before disappearing into the distance. But if The Limits of
Control is about the characters, much of the surroundings help to frame some
kind of narrative and context - Spain has never looked quite so beautiful as it
does on the big screen here.
Those looking for a
coherent plot with a solid explanation of what's going on will be sorely
disappointed - but once you settle into the groove and the journey of the story,
you are soon sucked in. The looped and repetitive nature of some of the scenes
lulls you into a false sense of security as you wait for the jigsaw pieces to
fall into place.
The Limits of Control is a
diverse piece of film-making - and remains a puzzling yet interesting watch on
Extras: Jim Jarmusch montage, Behind Jim Jarmusch - a look
at Jarmusch's way of filming.