All Is By My Side
Director: John Ridley
Talent: André Benjamin, Hayley Atwell, Imogen Poots, Ruth Negga
Release Date: 16th November 2014
Choosing to dodge Hendrix’s notorious later era of riff-squealing, rainbow-screwing pyromania, All Is By My Side instead focuses on the time of his early break and transitional period in London. Possessive, jealousy-fueled guid- ance from Keith Richards’ girlfriend Linda Keith (played by Imogen Poots) steers Jimi towards the on- and off-stage persona that will come to epitomise the legacy of his life and work. While a wise decision to eschew the haze and glamour of his subsequent career, which might risk becoming laboured and trite, the film lacks the kind of tenacity and range needed to support the character at its core, in spite of André Benjamin’s terrific lead performance. A film that tries to paint an interesting and honest look at Hendrix needs to spill the colours of his laconic, naïve heart, and light the gasoline of his volatile temper and hedonistic detachment, but despite a run time of just under two hours,this film achieves neither fully. Worth a watch for all the scenes around Dublin though, for sure.
Words: Paddy Ormond