Hendrix Movie: No Music, Good Acting

The first thing to know, Variety says, ‘about John Ridley’s “Jimi: All Is By My Side,” which comes out on Friday and stars Andre Benjamin, is that the writer-director was unable to secure rights to any of Jimi Hendrix’s original songs or recordings: This turns out to provide both the film’s biggest strengths and biggest shortcomings. Less a traditional biopic than a strategically limited portrait of a particular time, place and person, the film effectively brings pre-stardom Hendrix to life without ever tapping into the source of what made him such a magnetic performer, or elucidating just what drove him to create a lifetime’s worth of music in the span of four years. Unsatisfying on a musical level, it’s nonetheless a well-acted, sporadically impressive piece of filmmaking from the “12 Years a Slave” scribe.’

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