Top Stories

2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Film Review: Jimi: All is by My Side

Jimi: All is by My SideArguably considered the greatest guitar player in history, Jimi Hendrix is one of the most influential musical and cultural icons of the twentieth century. His death at such a young age cut short an amazing career that ended almost as quickly as it had blossomed.

Now audiences can see an intimate part of Hendrix’s life on the big screen.

In both a surprising and wonderful performance, Andre Benjamin tackles the role of the immortal Jimmy Hendrix in writer/director John Ridley’s biopic Jimi: All is by My Side currently playing at this year’s Los Angeles Film Festival. Ridley’s film focuses on an important and influential period of Hendrix’s early career in London. From his discovery in a run down bar by Linda Keith (played by Imogen Poots) to his tumultuous relationship with his girlfriend Kathy Etchingham (played by Hayley Atwell), the story shed’s light on Jimi Hendrix’s slow rise to fame and music immortality.

Andre Benjamin is the big surprise coming from this film. His ability to mimic Hendrix’s mannerisms and demeanor is uncanny. This is clearly one of the better acting performances of Benjamin’s career and he should be commended for his effort in bringing such a famous cultural icon to life.

Ridley also deserves credit as writer/director for creating a less stereotypical biopic film and one that really resonates well with the era it is portraying. Rather than trying to fit Hendrix’s short life in the span of two hours, he instead focuses his efforts on two important formative years of Hendrix’s career. While at times a bit slow, it certainly paints an intimate picture and vision of what Hendrix was like as a musician and human being.

Perhaps the greatest strength of the film came down to editing and cinematography. Ridley clearly envisioned his film having an artistic feel of late 1960’s cinema through different cut scene’s and camera focuses. And scenes that feature Benjamin as Hendrix performing on stage are beautifully shot and sound absolutely superb. They make the audience feel as if they are in the audience watching greatness make music.

The movie is not perfect. At some points Jimi: All is by My Side drifts away from Hendrix and focuses more on those around him, hence the movie feeling a bit slow at times. But the feel of the 1960’s through Ridley’s filmmaking along with beautiful cinematography and an admirable performance by Andre Benjamin as Jimi Hendrix make this a refreshing biopic about a legend we all wish we could have had a little longer.

Jimi: All is by My Side opens August 8, 2014 in the UK and later this fall in the USA.

Jimi: All is by My Side

Grade: A-

Show More

Aaron Zamora

Aaron grew up in Whittier, California and is currently finishing his master's degree in Human Communication studies from California State University, Fullerton. His interest in journalism began in high school where he served as the Editor-in-Chief for his school’s newspaper and participated in their inaugural broadcast journalism program. An avid world traveler, Aaron has a wide array of interest that include a passion for cinema and television. He is also a sports fanatic.

Related Articles

Back to top button