Strong performances, naturalistic dialogue, insightful writing and directing, and refreshingly experimental editing and sound design help this film avoid the pitfalls of most cliche-ridden musical biopics, Benjamin's characterization of Hendrix is complex and authentic, but unfortunately Ridley's frustratingly limited access to Hendrix's life and music rob it of authority. Felt like the first third of a great movie.
It's kind of hard for me to buy into a soap-opera style dramatization of Jimi, when the real footage of him is so much more...real. Although Andre Benjamin does a very good job of channeling Jimi, this film lacks cohesion and just wants to make me recommend A FILM ABOUT JIMI HENDRIX (1973),
"Removing Hendrix’s specific songs keeps the movie grounded in [the] relationships.... AIBMS knows the pitfalls of musician biopics that cram a lifetime into a formula, and it knows that musicians are more than just their hit songs. [But] it ... dissects Hendrix into such thin slices that it’s hard to see him at all." - J. Hassenger, AV Club. Decent acting but inaccurate & unlikable characterizations. 2.5 stars
Why in the world make a film about Jimi Hendrix when you have no rights to the musical legacy left behind? Despite the exceptional, and surprising, casting of Andre Benjamin as Hendrix and a pretty rich recreation of the period the film lands with a thud at every musical opportunity. Worse the scripting which plays revisionist history with a past well known to viewers. And worse of all the turn by Hayley Atwell.
What a mess...The editing was by far the worst and most distracting part of this film. Its effort to maybe "compliment" the subject matter was almost as incohesive as the unorganized screenplay and the sloppy camera work. By the end of the film I wasn't really sure why they even made it. I also see it hard to make a biopic about a musician when you don't even have the rights to use his music...