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Bob Marley: One Love Review - Val Ruloff

"Jammin'" is definitely top of the bill of fare here. "I hope you like jammin', too".... and that's just one of the messages in this film.

It's no easy task to depict a man such as Bob Marley, with the iconic status and image he's now achieved in both culture and music... intertwined in both his distinctive reggae sound and the “Rastafari” (Rastafarian) ideology.

Reinaldo Marcus Green has taken up the gauntlet with the screenplay and film direction. Producer credits include Ziggy Marley, Rita Marley and Cedella Marley.

Kingsley Ben-Adir is impressive in the lead role. Strong performances are given by Lashana Lynch as Rita Marley and James Norton as Chris Blackwell, Island Records founder.

Biographical films do present a challenge and are often controversial. The question is then, does this film match up to expectations and qualify as a definitive account? After all, this film has been much anticipated… also it has the authority of family members. Quite a lot of the content is already familiar to followers of Bob Marley's life and music, but there's a significant amount to be gleaned within the scope of the film as it covers his tragically short life span.

Bob Marley has not been alive for a period of forty-three years now... but his memory is seared into popular awareness and is cherished by many. The storyline pitches the audience into an account of Bob Marley's eventful and fascinating lifetime experiences. These include his desperately poignant start as a biracial child, born to white Jamaican father of (approximately) sixty-four years age who Bob Marley did not get to know and eighteen-year old mother of African and Jamaican heritage

Locations feature Jamaica and London and are full of vibrancy, joy and expressive of what Bob Marley sought to convey… as both message and messenger, that is. 

One love, indeed. Unity. Redemption.

Scenes do also feature some difficult subjects, including the highly dramatic shooting and near fatalities which involved both Bob Marley and his wife. Physical violence, abuse and drugs-related episodes are featured also.

The final scenes of Bob Marley himself, shown as the film concludes, are fabulous to see and really enhance the film.

The music alone is reason enough to go along to view “Bob Marley: One Love”. 

“No Woman, No Cry”… not so easy to do at times.


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