Sunday 22 September 2019

Jimi: All Is By My Side - 'one long string of cliches and counts as a major disappointment'

Jimi: All is by my Side
Jimi: All is by my Side

George Byrne

Music/Biopic. Starring Andre Benjamin, Hayley Atwell, Imogen Poots, Andrew Buckley, Ruth Negga, Adrian Lester. Directed by John Ridley. Cert 15A

**

12 Years a Slave screenwriter John Ridley’s plan to bring the story of Jimi Hendrix’s rise to fame has been long in the making but, alas, suffers in two crucial areas.

Firstly, the refusal of the late guitarist’s estate to sanction any of his music for the film hampers it from the off while the constant use of lookalikes to represent the likes of Eric Clapton, members of The Beatles and Rolling Stones makes the recreation of the elite London rock’n’roll scene in 1966/67 look faintly farcical.

That said, Outkast’s Andre Benjamin does a remarkable job as the mercurial musician, spotted in New York by Keith Richard’s girlfriend Linda Keith (Imogen Poots) and brought to London by former Animals bassist Chas Chandler (Andrew Buckley), where he begins a stormy relationship with Kathy Etchingham (Hayley Atwell).

Unfortunately, for all Benjamin’s fine work All is By My Side is one long string of such cliches and counts as a major disappointment.

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