Exeter, Devon UK • Apr 18, 2024 • VOL XII

Exeter, Devon UK • [date-today] • VOL XII
Home Screen Review: Bob Marley: One Love

Review: Bob Marley: One Love

Sarah Gould praises the new Bob Marley biopic, especially noting star performances and the overall tone of the film.
5 mins read
Written by
Bob Marley: One Love – Official Trailer (2024 Movie) | Paramount Pictures

The new biographical movie, Bob Marley: One Love, was an interesting yet heart-breaking watch. From learning about his younger life through flashbacks as well as his final years in desperation to spread love and peace, I believe this film did justice in portraying his undying spirit.

We start the film with learning about the political situation in Jamaica in the 1970s which spurred Marley’s idea to hold a concert, ‘Smile Jamaica’, in order to promote peace. I was slightly disappointed with the beginning of the film, as it told us in writing rather than showing us the climate in Jamaica at that time. However, the rest of the film made up for this. Near the start of the film, we see the attempted assassination of Marley (played by Kingsley Ben-Adir) in his own home in Jamaica. Marley is shot in the chest and arm, and his manager was shot in the leg and torso. Marley’s wife was also shot in the head, yet they all survived. Two days after, Marley and the Wailers perform at the ‘Smile Jamaica’ concert. We then follow him to England where we watch the progression and recording of Bob Marley and the Wailer’s album ‘Exodus’. Marley’s personal life is highlighted throughout the scene, ranging from an argument about his infidelity with his wife Rita (portrayed by Lashana Lynch), to the revelation of his rare skin cancer in 1977.

I was glad to see that the film did not focus heavily on Marley’s infidelity, having only one scene outrightly addressing it. It felt that in a movie focused on what his music brought, it would’ve been unnecessary to dwell on it and so felt like the appropriate amount of time to spend on the issue. With most of Marley’s family being involved in the production of One Love, it was clear they wanted to highlight the joy and creativity he possessed, yet it was probably also good not to ignore the issue of his adultery altogether and so I believe they did this perfectly.

With most of Marley’s family being involved in the production of One Love, it was clear they wanted to highlight the joy and creativity he possessed…

In regards to performance, Kingsley Ben–Adir did an excellent job. From his accent to his mannerisms, Kingsley nailed the way in which Marley performed and conducted himself. The film ends with real clips from concerts of Bob Marley and in comparison to how Kingsley portrayed him, he got it spot on. As well as Kingsley, Lashana Lynch who played Rita Marley also produced a noteworthy performance. Lashana’s ability to evoke emotion and sympathy from the audience is incredible. She truly did justice to Rita Marley in the portrayal of her incomparable importance in Marley’s life.

Altogether, Bob Marley: One Love was a captivating watch and I learnt so much not just about his life, but also about his passion for music and how it can carry a message to bring people together.

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