Taking place in a not-so-distant future, Benjamin Dickinson's Creative Control tells the story of David, an overworked, advertising executive who has been developing a campaign for "augmented reality" glasses, which his client and him believes can mimic reality to a degree not seen before in the virtual reality techspace. Popping Xanax like candy due to the stresses of work and pressures from feeling caged in by the relationship with his yoga instructor girlfriend, David begins experimenting with the "augmented reality glasses" which leads to him struggling to tell the difference between reality and the one he creates for himself. David envies the life of his best friend Wim, a chauvinistic fashion photographer, who spends most of his nights sleeping with various models, only to return home to Sophia, his beautiful girlfriend who David happens to work with in some capacity. After a one time kiss with Sophia, David begins to become entranced by this woman, using the glasses to design a reality with her that drives him over the edge, unable to separate fact from fiction. Creative COntrol is a relationship drama full of deceit masquerading as a science fiction film from a narrative perspective that takes awhile to gain momentum in the early going, relying on a sense of humor that is hit or miss and characterizations that never fully develop. Where the film shines is in the world it is able to create, delivering a clean, unique aesthetic that impressively evokes a futuristic feel on what I can only imagine is a rather small budget. One could certainly argue that the films thematic ideals are a little half-baked, but I'd be lying if I didn't admit I found some of the film's ideas creatively presented, even if they were never fully developed. One could argue that Creative Control is essential a parable for the toxic effects of technology, as David's life essentially goes spiraling out of control due to these "augmented reality" glasses. Personally I think the more interesting aspect of Creative Control is its commentary on capitalism or even more so corporatism. Creative Control does a wonderful job of juxtaposing the augmented reality David creates with the corporatism he is part of on a day-to-day-basis, with the film expressing how neither of them are truly real when it comes down to us as human beings, as materialism and monetary reward are merely created by man not nature. The screenplay ends up working pretty well from a comedic perspective, especially towards the back half, but I still wish Creative Control's characterizations could have been a little better realized, as the film's efforts felt more focused on its various themes and technical prowess than in the story of characters' struggling in the age of information, technology, and capitalism.
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