Director John Ridley’s attempts to conjure the psychedelic life and times of Jimi Hendrix make for a colourful but ultimately mediocre spectacle of an artist on the cusp of stardom.
The film rides on a strong performance by André Benjamin of Outkast fame, who has the vocal mannerisms and movement of the guitar legend down to a fine art. However, the script fails to give Hendrix any real dramatic dimension and efforts to see his take on issues such as racial inequality ultimately ring hollow.
Blurred camera shots give a good impression of the swinging era yet documentary footage used comes over as a lazy way to set period tone.
Jimi: All is by My Side could have been a screaming electric epitaph to the hand who launched a thousand riffs. Instead the failure of the filmmakers to secure music rights from the Hendrix estate, coupled with a weak script by Ridley, make for a film that hits a bum note.
CAST: André Benjamin, Imogen Poots, Hayley Atwell
DIRECTOR: John Ridley
WRITERS: John Ridley
SYNOPSIS: A young Jimi Hendrix leaves bar-band anonymity in New York for the blurred lights of swinging London to try and make it big as a rock star.