Bob Marley: One Love – Movie Review

What’s it about?

It’s a Bob Marley biopic. I genuinely tried to think of more for this, but yeah that’s about it.

What’d we think?

The movie begins in 1976 with Bob Marley at the peak of his fame, some stuff happens, and then the movie ends in 1978 with Bob still at the peak of his fame. This period covers an attempt on Marley’s life, the band recording an album in London, then a return to Jamaica for a peace concert, and all of this is portrayed in the least interesting way possible. We’re made aware that Political Stuff is happening in Jamaica, but there’s no attempt at explaining the conflict or characterising either side. The band comes up with an idea for their new album, and then they record the new album. They discuss returning to Jamaica for a concert, then return to Jamaica for the concert. There’s no conflict, no interesting relationships, and ultimately no point.

Kingsley Ben-Adir does a fine evocation of Marley in the lead role, but doesn’t have any opportunity to imbue the role with any depth (the Marley family’s involvement likely sanitised anything that might have been interesting), and Lashana Lynch sleepwalks her way through an underwritten role as Rita Marley. While I can’t speak for the authenticity of the cast’s Jamaican accents, I can testify to the regular incomprehensibility of the dialogue as a result of their commitment to the bit, although I don’t believe that understanding the actors would have made the movie any more interesting.

Bob Marley: One Love (the movie doesn’t even have the balls to trust the audience could figure out who the movie is about unless you whack his name in there) is a meandering exercise in paint-by-numbers biopic filmmaking that completely lacks any charm or energy.

A neutered, flavourless, and ultimately pointless movie. Don't waste your time.
A raconteur by nature and motormouth by trade, the only thing Pete loves more than watching movies is a good debate about movies. He'll argue with anyone about anything, and enjoy it more than is socially acceptable.
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