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Farmers' Harvest

Review: Music for peace

‘One Love’ leaves viewers needing more
Courtesy of Paramount Pictures.

In times of warfare, political corruption and violence there’s only one solution that can save a country: music. 

Bob Marley: One Love” is the first biopic of the year, with the king of reggae music himself, Bob Marley. The finished product entered theaters Wednesday, Feb. 14 and has been a hit with viewers since its release.

The movie begins with Marley, played by Kingsley Ben-Adir, staging a concert with opposition as an attempt to bring peace during violence between the People’s National Party and the Jamaican Labour Party after the end of Great Britain ownership. With this opposition, the film takes place after the attempted assassination of his wife, Rita (Lashana Lynch), and band members before one of the most famous concerts of the 20th century. Although Jamaica was going through a time of heavy political corruption, it was with this conflict that heavily inspired and influenced Marley to write his songs at the time.

The project had some great moments, but it’s worth noting as the film had more flaws than good moments. 

For Ben-Adir, his acting was phenomenal. It was easy to tell he was trying his best, but comparing him to Marley, there’s a noticeable difference in accents. Marley didn’t have a thick Jamaican accent compared to the one Ben-Adir used. Had Ben-Adir relaxed his accent, it would’ve made his character more believable. Needless to say, his acting was great, it was only one flaw needing to be fixed. 

Lynch (Rita Marley) played a remarkable role, and it was throughout this character that fans were able to learn more about Marley. Lynch’s acting was so pure throughout the film, and it was highlighted in one scene in which her and Marley were arguing that showcased their capabilities, which ensured the cast was surely a great selection. 

It’s worth noting that even great actors can’t make a nice movie without a good storyline, which was something the film heavily lacked. It felt like the producers had a big puzzle, but refused to give more pieces to help make the film more understandable to viewers. It felt highly mandatory for the audience to gain a better understanding of Marley’s character and life, but it only showed in terms of five second flashbacks leaving viewers more confused than before. 

The film’s soundtrack was still successful, even though it didn’t feature some of Marley’s most popular hits. It featured more of Marley’s “Exodus” album, which really shows Marley’s attempt toward bringing peace to Jamaica. Since it’s a lesser known album by unfamiliar Marley fans, it still is the best decision to feature for this film. 

Lastly, the concert sequences could’ve been shown more as would’ve been an interesting reenactment, but it didn’t, which made the film go in a different direction toward the typical genre of a biopic. 

If the film showed more of Marley’s life or character, it would’ve been more interesting as it would’ve led the audience to gain a better understanding of his persona. However, the film was a good project overall, it just needed some minor to major adjustments that would’ve made it a better experience. The rating for the film would be at best a 8 out of 10 because, although good, it was still missing something that could’ve made it all the better.

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