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Film Assessment: ‘Bob Marley: One Love’


Kingsley Ben-Adir as “Bob Marley” in 'Bob Marley: One Love' from Paramount Pictures.

Kingsley Ben-Adir as “Bob Marley” in ‘Bob Marley: One Love’ from Paramount Photos.

Opening in theaters on February 14th is the brand new biopic from director Reinaldo Marcus Green (‘King Richard’) entitled ‘Bob Marley: One Love,’ which chronicles the lifetime of the late reggae singer and stars Kingsley Ben-Adir (‘Barbie’) within the title position.

Related Article: New Images Online from Upcoming Amy Winehouse and Bob Marley Biopics

Preliminary Ideas

Bob Marley’s life and legacy comes into vivid scope in director Reinaldo Marcus Inexperienced’s fascinating ‘Bob Marley: One Love.’ Actor Kingsley Ben-Adir offers a transcending efficiency within the title position, and Lashana Lynch is powerful and stylish as Marley’s spouse, Rita. Whereas the film does fall into some frequent biopic traps, and turns into predictable at occasions, Marley’s compelling story, his vibrant music, and the lead performances elevate the general movie.

Script and Route

Kingsley Ben-Adir as “Bob Marley” and Director Reinaldo Marcus Green in 'Bob Marley: One Love' from Paramount Pictures.

(L to R) Kingsley Ben-Adir as “Bob Marley” and Director Reinaldo Marcus Inexperienced in ‘Bob Marley: One Love’ from Paramount Photos.

Written by Terence Winter, Frank E. Flowers, Zach Baylin and director Reinaldo Marcus Inexperienced, the film begins with a short flashback to Bob Marley’s (Kingsley Ben-Adir) childhood and rapidly flash’s ahead to the mid-Seventies. Jamaica is in political turmoil. Marley is now a celebrity and scheduled to carry out a live performance to deliver the nation collectively however has been urged to not attend. After an assassination try on Marley that leaves his spouse Rita (Lashana Lynch) injured, Bob leaves Jamaica for London the place he begins recording the ‘Exodus’ album.

The gap quickly places a pressure on his marriage, whereas Marley navigates fame and betrayal inside his personal ranks. He ultimately decides to tour Africa, however after he’s identified with most cancers, and the political local weather of Jamaica adjustments, he as an alternative returns dwelling from his self-imposed exile to unite his nation yet one more time with a live-concert and his iconic music. The movie additionally continues to flashback all through revealing Marley’s robust childhood, placing collectively The Wailers, recording his first album, and assembly and falling in love with Rita.

Kingsley Ben-Adir as “Bob Marley” in 'Bob Marley: One Love' from Paramount Pictures.

Kingsley Ben-Adir as “Bob Marley” in ‘Bob Marley: One Love’ from Paramount Photos.

The script correctly focuses on Marley’s closing years, and the construction, beginning with the topic as a star and flashing again to indicate how he acquired there, could be very refreshing. It permits the film to start out in first gear quite than revving as much as the primary story in chronological order. The flashbacks additionally work effectively throughout the context of the film. However that doesn’t imply the movie doesn’t fall into some frequent musical biopic traps, however extra on that in a minute.

Director Reinaldo Marcus Inexperienced, coming off the Oscar-nominated ‘King Richard,’ units a very good tempo and tone for the movie, which is helped by the robust construction of the screenplay. Inexperienced correctly fills the film with Marley’s music, becoming in all of the hits, and even demonstrating how among the songs had been written. The live performance scenes are excellently shot and convey Marley’s music vibrantly alive by means of Ben-Adir’s efficiency. Whereas these scenes are highlights, equally compelling are the emotional scenes between Bob and Rita, which Inexperienced orchestrates effectively.

Kingsley Ben-Adir as Bob Marley

Kingsley Ben-Adir as Bob Marley in 'Bob Marley: One Love.'

Kingsley Ben-Adir as Bob Marley in ‘Bob Marley: One Love.’ Picture: Paramount Photos.

Within the pantheon of actors portraying well-known musicians, I’d put Val Kilmer’s efficiency as Jim Morrison in ‘The Doors’ on the high and Raim Malek’s disgraceful Oscar-winning efficiency as Freddy Mercury in ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ on the backside. On that spectrum, Kingsley Ben-Adir’s Bob Marley is on the high-end, near Kilmer and proper beside Joaquin Phoenix’s Johnny Cash in ‘Walk the Line.’

Ben-Adir utterly embodies Marley, changing into virtually unrecognizable each in appears to be like and voice. The actor efficiently transforms himself into Marley in a really plausible manner. My huge beef with Malek is he was lip-syncing and didn’t really sing his personal songs. My understanding is Ben-Adir sang stay on set, however the closing product is augmented with Marley’s precise voice. Be that the case, you’ll be able to inform that Ben-Adir is giving it his all within the music scenes, shifting and leaping with the identical vitality because the legendary singer himself.

However the actor additionally excels at capturing his majesty, his depth, and his spirituality, particularly within the quitter scenes. Ben-Adir brings lots of emotion to his off-stage scenes, significantly these with Lynch. The chemistry between the 2 actors is clear and brings an depth to Bob and Rita’s relationship. Whereas the actor does have the luxurious of bringing with him all of the love and respect that we as viewers have already got for Marley, Ben-Adir doesn’t relaxation on that and makes use of it to create a portrait of the true man behind the legend.

Lashana Lynch as Rita Marley

Kingsley Ben-Adir as “Bob Marley” and Lashana Lynch as “Rita Marley” in 'Bob Marley: One Love' from Paramount Pictures.

(L to R) Kingsley Ben-Adir as “Bob Marley” and Lashana Lynch as “Rita Marley” in ‘Bob Marley: One Love’ from Paramount Photos.

Lashana Lynch is great as Bob’s higher half, Rita Marley and offers probably the greatest performances of her profession. The actress is powerful and swish as Rita, who loves her husband but in addition is aware of he’s meant for a larger goal. Lynch lights up the display each scene she is in and is unbelievable reverse Ben-Adir. Since Rita was additionally a member of the Wailers, Lynch is required to sing within the movie and is totally plausible within the position.

Biopic Traps and Different Criticisms

Stefan Wade as “Seeco Patterson”, Lashana Lynch as “Rita Marley”, Aston Barrett Jr. as “Family Man Barrett”, Tosin Cole as “Tyrone Downie”, Kingsley Ben-Adir as “Bob Marley”, Hector ‘Roots’ Lewis as “Carly Barrett”, “Antonio 'Gillie' Gilbert”, Anna-Sharé Blake as “Judy Mowatt”, Sheldon Shepherd as “Neville Garrick” and Andrae Simpson as "Don Kinsey" in 'Bob Marley: One Love' from Paramount Pictures.

(L to R) Stefan Wade as “Seeco Patterson”, Lashana Lynch as “Rita Marley”, Aston Barrett Jr. as “Household Man Barrett”, Tosin Cole as “Tyrone Downie”, Kingsley Ben-Adir as “Bob Marley”, Hector ‘Roots’ Lewis as “Carly Barrett”, “Antonio ‘Gillie’ Gilbert”, Anna-Sharé Blake as “Judy Mowatt”, Sheldon Shepherd as “Neville Garrick” and Andrae Simpson as “Don Kinsey” in ‘Bob Marley: One Love’ from Paramount Photos.

As talked about earlier, the movie does fall into some frequent biopic traps and cliches. After the temporary opening flashback, the film then has a few minute and a half of title playing cards explaining how Marley grew to become a star and what’s occurring in Jamaica when the film begins. Since most audiences already know the essential story of Bob Marley, explaining how he grew to become a star didn’t appear mandatory, particularly since it’s ultimately proven in flashbacks, and the political points get defined by means of the course of the film as effectively.

The movie additionally has the normal montage scene, which looks like a trope that has been performed out. On this case, it was used for a live performance tour and the recording of ‘Exodus,’ and was simply included to indicate the passing of time whereas giving exposition wanted for the remainder of the third act. There looks like a better manner to try this, however that stated, these scenes do work however solely due to Marley’s music.

My closing criticism, whereas it was not as unhealthy as director Baz Luhrmann’s ‘Elvis,’ I did really feel like Marley’s story was considerably sanitized. Whereas they examined his music, political affect, and sickness effectively, they glanced over his infidelities, and the impression that had on Rita and his marriage. There are a couple of temporary references, together with that he fathered different youngsters, however it’s barely explored.

Oscar 2025 Probabilities?

Kingsley Ben-Adir as “Bob Marley” in 'Bob Marley: One Love' from Paramount Pictures.

Kingsley Ben-Adir as “Bob Marley” in ‘Bob Marley: One Love’ from Paramount Photos.

It’s clearly too early to make predictions on subsequent 12 months’s Oscars, however with two performances nearly as good as Ben-Adir and Lynch’s, in a film about somebody as beloved as Bob Marley, you could marvel why the studio dumped this film in February. It will make extra sense in the event that they took it to festivals this fall and opened it nearer to subsequent December for Oscar nominations.

Pretty much as good as Ben-Adir and Lynch are, respectively, I worry this film shall be forgotten by the autumn. Whereas the movie itself and the route are most likely not robust sufficient for nominations, the screenplay may have had an opportunity, and definitely Ben-Adir and Lynch would have been within the operating, however sadly, although it’s a very good film, it most likely gained’t be on folks’s minds by the tip of the 12 months.

Closing Ideas

Kingsley Ben-Adir as “Bob Marley” in 'Bob Marley: One Love' from Paramount Pictures.

Kingsley Ben-Adir as “Bob Marley” in ‘Bob Marley: One Love’ from Paramount Photos.

It may not be the perfect musician biopic of all time, ‘Bob Marley: One Love’ is a really entertaining and well-made film that’s worthy of the icon it’s based mostly on. Whereas not excellent, the screenplay construction is intelligent, and the live performance scenes and Marley’s music makes up for the remaining. However its Kingsley Ben-Adir and Lashana Lynch’s transcending performances that basically makes the film rock!

‘Bob Marley: One Love’ receives 8 out of 10 stars.

“First he modified music then he modified the world.”

PG-131 hr 44 minFeb 14th, 2024

Showtimes & Tickets

Jamaican singer-songwriter Bob Marley overcomes adversity to turn out to be probably the most well-known reggae musician on this planet. Read the Plot

What’s the Plot of ‘Bob Marley: One Love’?

Jamaican singer-songwriter Bob Marley (Kingsley Ben-Adir) overcomes adversity to turn out to be probably the most well-known reggae musician on this planet.

Who’s within the Forged of ‘Bob Marley: One Love’?

'Bob Marley: One Love' is scheduled to be released in theaters on January, 12th 2024.

‘Bob Marley: One Love’ is scheduled to be launched in theaters on February, 14th 2024.

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