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bob marley one love, biographical film, biography, review, biopic

Bob Marley: One Love (2024)

The Harder They Come, the first indigenous film produced in Jamaica, is credited with bringing reggae to the world. Starring singer Jimmy Cliff, it was filmed in the language of Jamaican Patios, which led to subtitles being added for its international release. Over fifty years later, the biopic of reggae’s biggest star also features the Jamaican Patois language but adds a few Rastafarian Iyaric (or Dread Talk) expressions into the mix. While this lends a certain authenticity to Bob Marley: One Love, a few subtitles would not have gone astray.   

Focusing on fifteen months of Marley’s life, the film opens in 1976 when the island of Jamaica was on the brink of civil war. Hoping the quell the violence and unite his divided country, the singer plans to hold a concert for peace. Two days before the event is due to take place, an attempt is made on his life. After going ahead with the concert, Marley seeks safety in England where he sets to work developing a new sound for his next album.

For a movie that features an assassination attempt on its main character within the first fifteen minutes, Bob Marley: One Love is surprisingly slow. This sluggish pace may be exacerbated by the intense concentration required to decipher what the hell everybody is saying, but it could also lie in the film’s primary focus. After the initial excitement, the biopic spends much of its running time depicting the making of Exodus, which hardly makes for fascinating viewing when half the participants are stoned. Flashbacks of the Marley’s earlier years are peppered throughout, yet these prove more instructional on Rastafarianism than the singer himself.

Though the film rightly lauds Marley as a revolutionary who sought to spread his message through his music, the film’s earnestness fails to stir it up

Kingsley Ben-Adir, Bob Marley, James Norton, Chris Blackwell
fact check, factcheck, fact vs fiction, inaccuracies, true story

Film infers Bob Marley was surprised by the appearance of Claudie Massop and Bucky Marshall in a London Park. In reality, the singer not only paid for the gangsters’ flights to London but also footed the bill for their accommodation.

Sam Palladio, Joe Strummer, Cosmo Wellings, Mick Jagger
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