My biggest issue with Jimi: All Is Beside Me is that it's full of scenes that simply don't work and would have been cut from a better movie. In fact, the movie's structure and style completely fail to pull the audience into the story. It's off-putting overall.
Imagine walking into a room with someone holding an interesting phone conversation. You've missed the first part of the conversation, you're only hearing one side of the rest of it, and you want to hear more. You kind of get the idea, but nobody will tell you anything more. You feel excluded.
That's how I felt in the theater. Not enough backstory, incomplete and uninformative situations and dialog, no emotional core, no heart. Just an assemblage of vignettes that don't add to the story and give us no insight of any depth into Jimi's psyche and inner life. I felt excluded, and judging by the whispered comments of other people in the theater, I wasn't the only one.
To make things worse, there isn't even one single great scene. Every good movie needs at least one great scene. The James Brown biopic, Get on Up, had several great scenes (especially the electrifying musical performances.) I kept hoping for a big moment, but it never happened.
There are plenty of other issues with editing, cinematography, and writing. For example: freeze-framing to introduce characters and locations, film-schoolish camera work, occasional terribly written dialog including something to the effect of "I'm the manager of the Rolling Stones ... you're the girlfriend of Keith Richards" even after the freeze-frames with character names.
And not enough, you know, MUSIC. There was plenty of beautiful guitar on the soundtrack, but I wanted more rehearsal and concert scenes. Hendrix was one of the greatest guitarists out planet has ever produced. The film didn't show enough of his creative process or virtuosity.
Now for the good parts: very good performances by all the actors, and art direction that totally nails the '60s look and feel. Unfortunately the acting and art department weren't enough to save it for me (not even with my huge crush on Hayley Atwell.)
5 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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