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Bob Marley: One Love Movie Review

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Bob Marley: One Love is a biopic film on the beloved icon, Bob Marley. It depicts the origin and heart of where Bob’s music comes from and stars Kingsley Ben-Adair as Bob Marley. Bob Marley is notably one of the most popular and famous reggae musician of all time. This movie tells of his life, struggles, and passion for the music he creates.

Kingsley Ben-Adir in Bob Marley: One Love Image: Paramount Pictures

This story is told between many years, between 1976 and 1978. Bob Marley has yet a prolific life both in music, and also in his personal. As the audience, we are quickly introduced to the family, Rita played by Lashana Lynch, his manager Don Taylor played by Anthony Welsh,  and recording manager played by Chris Blackwell. Bob Marley is shown to have many flashbacks of Rita and himself meeting, and other conversations they had during their childhood throughout the film. Rita introduced Bob to “Rastafari”, a religious and political movement which originated in Jamaica and still remains prominent in the Caribbean area, hence Bob’s urgency to develop a want for peace.

What I enjoyed are the little moments of Bob’s pauses in between the movie. There was one specific scene of him pondering to himself as he moved around the kitchen area. Most of the movie also showed how Bob came up with early concepts of some of his notable music.  The main focus was on the album “Exodus”, and several of the songs off that album like “Jamming”, “Don’t Worry About A Thing”, and “No Woman No Cry”, are featured throughout the film. Bob’s first album became one of the most influential albums in reggae music at the time, and is still referenced today in pop culture. 

There are a few scenes where we get to see Bob Marley traveling the world, meeting influential people that can further his career, a socializing involving a lot of drinking, attending events, and performing. In the movie, there also is a spotlight on Rita, who is a wife and mother to Bob Marley’s kids. Rita was always with the touring group, giving her talent as one of the background singers, and she stuck with him throughout the movie. But there was one moment in particular that really showed how much she was dealing with in relation to Bob’s massive rise to fame.

Kingsley Ben-Adir and Lashana Lynch in Bob Marley: One Love. Photograph: Chiabella James/AP

As the movie progresses, the audience learns of Bob Marley’s cancer diagnosis. This was due to a previous injury to his toe, which many people asked him to get checked out. Bob Marley pushes through and wants to do a performance in Jamaica after Bob Marley previously fled due to a situation that was shown in the beginning of the movie. He now returns, with his home country embracing him with open arms. Bob Marley performs all of his hits, and the movie concludes with his passing on May 11th, 1981. 

This movie was okay with key moments of Bob Marley’s life taking the center stage. I wished that there was more background on each person who was in Bob’s life. I would have loved to see more information about his childhood and his Jamaican roots. The pacing of the movie was alright as well. Another thing that would have added momentum is a better spotlight on Bob and Rita’s relationship.

Bob Marley will go down in history of one of the forefathers for reggae music, and his music still is beloved and played today. I am glad that audiences get to meet Bob, and also hear his music and receive the messages in the music.

I give this film a 7.5/10.

Bob Marley: One Love is in theaters now.

Janelle Holland
Janelle Holland
My name is Janelle, and I love comics, T.V. shows, movies. I enjoy everything from Marvel to DC. You can usually find me with a comic book in my hand and some coffee.

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