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Movie Review: “Bob Marley: One Love” – A Cinematic Tribute to a Reggae Legend, Preaching Love & Unity.

While the film may gloss over certain aspects of Marley’s revolutionary spirit, it succeeds in humanizing him, portraying him not as a deity but as a man with flaws and vulnerabilities. 



In the annals of music history, few names resonate as profoundly as Bob Marley. His music transcends generations, his message remains timeless, and his influence continues to shape the world. 

Bob Marley: One Love” is a biopic that endeavours to peel back the layers of the reggae icon’s life, revealing the man behind the music, the father behind the legend, and the soul behind the revolution.

For many, this film serves as an eye-opener, offering a glimpse into the personal struggles and triumphs of a figure often overshadowed by his global fame. 

Directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green, the narrative unfolds with an intimacy rarely seen, presenting Marley not just as a musical luminary but as a husband, a father, and a friend. Through carefully crafted scenes, we witness moments that humanize him, shedding light on aspects of his character that many documentaries may have missed.

At its core, the story is a testament to resilience, tracing Bobs’s journey from the turbulent streets of Jamaica to the international stage. We witness his efforts to unite a divided nation torn apart by political strife and violence, a struggle that nearly cost him his life. 

Yet, from the ashes of adversity emerged a beacon of hope, as Marley embarked on a mission to spread his message of love and unity to the world. We get to see the steps he takes to grow his name, particularly the changes in his sound that led to the creation of his critically acclaimed album “Exodus“.

Visually stunning, the film captures the vibrancy of Jamaica, infusing every frame with the spirit of the island. From lush landscapes to pulsating concert scenes, the aesthetic beauty serves as a backdrop to Marley’s musical odyssey. Enhanced by Dolby Digital sound design, the music comes alive, enveloping the audience in its infectious rhythm and profound lyrics.

Indeed, the film feels like more than just a biopic; it’s an immersive concert experience that transports viewers to the heart of Marley’s performances. 

Kingsley Ben-Adir effortlessly embodies the role of Bob Marley with a charming demeanour that diverges from the rugged revolutionary often depicted in archival footage. Ben-Adir‘s portrayal introduces a sweet and charismatic personality, akin to a captivating “loveboy” rendition of the iconic figure. Even during scenes where Bob is sharing profound revolutionary insight, Ben-Adir‘s portrayal maintains a noticeable twinkle of charm and innocence in his eyes, adding depth to the character.

Lashana Lynch also delivers a standout performance as Rita Marley, which arguably is one of the highlights of the film. She skillfully portrays Rita‘s significance in both Bob Marley‘s personal life and his musical career. As a devoted mother and a crucial member of the band, Lynch‘s portrayal captures the complexities of Rita‘s character. Through powerful scenes, she offers insight into the challenges Rita faces, including Bob’s well-known infidelities. 

In many ways, Lynch‘s performance emphasizes the importance of having a supportive partner, showcasing Rita‘s strength and resilience in the face of adversity. A pivotal moment in the film depicts a heated argument between Rita and Bob, culminating in Rita striking him across the face—an emotionally charged scene that underscores the tension and complexity of their relationship. Through her portrayal, Lynch brings depth and authenticity to the character of Rita Marley, leaving a lasting impression on audiences.

While the film may gloss over certain aspects of Marley‘s revolutionary spirit, it succeeds in humanizing him, portraying him not as a deity but as a man with flaws and vulnerabilities. 

Flashbacks to his youth provide insight into his formative years, from his first encounter with Rita to his embrace of Rastafarianism. Yet, despite its runtime of 1 hour and 44 minutes, the film leaves some aspects of Marley’s later life unexplored, leaving viewers yearning for more. I belive, including more details about Bob Marley’s later days in the film would have enhanced its emotional impact. Witnessing the legendary musician during his final days would have added depth and poignancy to the narrative, allowing viewers to connect with Marley on a more personal level perhaps.

Bob Marley: One Love” may not satisfy everyone’s expectations, but it sets a new standard for biopics of its kind.  Celebrating Marley‘s humanity invites audiences to appreciate the man behind the myth, flaws and all. In doing so, it pays tribute to the enduring power of his music and the indelible mark he left on the world.

Bob Marley: One Love” is more than just a film; it’s a celebration of a life well-lived, a legacy that continues to inspire and uplift. I will rate this film 7.5/10

Through its poignant storytelling and soul-stirring music, it reaffirms the timeless message of love, unity, and redemption that Bob Marley imparted to the world. And for that, it deserves to be seen and acknowledged as a fitting tribute to a true legend.

Bob Marley: One Love” is certainly a must-watch. If you are in Accra, you can catch “Bob Marley: One Love” at the Silvirbird Cinemas. You can go here to see the showing times.



Second on my list of addictions is Movies.. the only thing I could possibly love more is my Dearest Waakye lol. Nothing else does a better job of reminding me that ANYTHING is possible with the right amount of effort. I have great eye for details and flaws in scripts. Shallow scripts bore me. I am an avid reader. Your everyday Mr Nice guy. Always the last to speak in a room full of smart people. Half Human, half Martian but full MOVIE FREAK.

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