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October 26, 2023

Music leads the way in Bob Marley: One Love

The Sidekick staff writer Marli Field reviews the recently released Bob Marley biopic, One Love, which debuted in theaters internationally on Feb. 14. Field encourages readers to discover the deeper truths of the singer’s music through this film. Photo by Medha Kanamarlapudi.
Minori Kunte
The Sidekick staff writer Marli Field reviews the recently released Bob Marley biopic, One Love, which debuted in theaters internationally on Feb. 14. Field encourages readers to discover the deeper truths of the singer’s music through this film. Photo by Medha Kanamarlapudi.

Bob Marley is a name I grew up hearing. Jamaican-born reggae star, a hippie who used music to spread love and peace. You have likely seen him on shirts, vinyl covers and maybe even in a public mural. 

He is one of the most well-known figures in entertainment. However, when most people think of him, they don’t recognize the power behind his work. 

One Love, a Bob Marley biopic released in Jamaica on Jan. 23 and was shown to international audiences on Feb. 14. The movie sheds light on that very subject and brings the story of Marley’s greatest triumphs to the screen. 

Starring Kingsley Ben-Adir as Marley, the movie takes place mainly between 1976-1981, with occasional flashbacks to other moments in Marley’s life for context. A focus of the film is Marley’s relationship with his wife, Rita, who is an executive producer on the film. Rita, with her son Ziggy Marley, were involved in the creation of the movie to ensure its authenticity.

Part of the movie was filmed in Marley’s home country of Jamaica, and many crew members and producers have ties to the Marley family. 

The movie is titled One Love, after a concert thrown by Marley and his band The Wailers in 1978 to encourage peace within the then politically tumultuous Jamaica. It is evident throughout the film that Marley had a deep love for his Jamaican culture and people, and the continuous violence occurring there was deeply hurtful to him, something he wanted to change. 

I found this film to be incredibly well made from a visual perspective. The lighting, locations, costume and layout of scenes is very well done, and meshed with the soundtrack beautifully. To me it has a very authentic feel. 

The Jamaican accents stay true to his story. However, I did have a hard time understanding the dialogue at times, making the plot occasionally confusing. I do recommend that if you worry about being able to understand the actors, going to a showing with on-screen captions. 

The film does not shy away from Marley’s use of marijuana. It is hard to name a moment in the film where someone isn’t smoking. While this is not something that bothered me, I do believe it should be noted for those not comfortable.

Rastafari is also an important aspect of this movie, and a vital part of Marley’s life. Originating in Jamaica, followers of the movement worship God, also known as Jah.  Marley believed that part of his duty as a Rastafarian was to spread Jah’s word through music. 

Overall, I found this to be a wonderful watch. Marley’s story was new to me and inspiring. I feel that there’s a misconception that Marley’s story was all peace and love, but in reality there is also pain and violence, without which Marley would not have become the man the world knows today. Most importantly, this film highlights that Marley did not make this journey alone. 

I highly encourage you to find out how, in Rita Marley’s words, “The messenger becomes the message,” through Bob Marley: One Love.

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About the Contributors
Marli Field
Marli Field, Staff Writer
Minori Kunte
Minori Kunte, Staff Cartoonist
Minori Kunte is a junior and the staff cartoonist for The Sidekick. She spends her time singing for the Madrigals and A Capella. In her free time outside of school, she enjoys painting scenic locations she’s spotted and making vlogs of her vacations for herself and her family to watch. Her favorite movie of all time is The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. She enjoys watching Anne With An E and The 100, while snacking on Brookside Acai Dark Chocolate and Skinny Pop. She feels inspired when looking at art made by Anna-Laura Sullivan and Bob Ross. You can contact her at [email protected]

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