Country: UK / Ireland / USA
Movie Review: André Benjamin’s magnificent performance doesn’t hide the weaknesses of “Jimi: All Is by My Side”, a British-Irish biopic that I expected much more about the legendary rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix. The film was burdened in controversy since the beginning, since it couldn’t count with any Hendrix song, denied by the company that owns the rights, Hendrix Experience LLC. Director John Ridley (sceenwriter of “12 Years a Slave”) did what he could, deciding to tell Hendrix’s story before he attained fame, between 66 and 67, in the period after he left New York to go to London. In this city we can see Hendrix devastating Eric Clapton on stage under the astonished look of his manager, being victim of racism by the British police, but also using of physical violence to keep his girlfriend Kathy Etchingham in order. Kathy publicly denied Jimi’s violent actions depicted here, sinking the film in more polemics. The structure is floating, and the introduced characters are so many that sometimes is hard to focus. In truth, we sense that some scenes are fabricated, as a pretext to fill the gaps of a period that failed to show the real explosion of the guitar master. Charming images pictured the cool waves emanated by Jimi Hendrix, but “All By my Side” never sets us on fire, probably because our hero, victim of sabotage, was inaccurately portrayed and relegated to a phase of his life, which doesn’t represent the best he gave us.