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“Bob Marley: One Love”: Failed in an interesting way

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“Bob Marley: One Love”: Failed in an interesting way


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  • Page 1 — Failed in an interesting way

  • Page 2 — No feeling of tension

  • Everything actually failed here, so it’s interesting again. Bob Marley: One Love is the name of the first full-length feature film about the famous reggae musician, dreadlocks wearer and ganja smoker. It was produced by his widow Rita Marley and their son Ziggy, and it promises to present Marley’s life, character and work in an authentic and uplifting way.

    Bob Marley was born in Jamaica in 1945 and died in Florida in 1981. The plot of the film covers the period from 1976 to 1978, which is quite short for a biopic. But it’s all about the symbolism: We’re supposed to watch a person’s personal maturation, their spiritual and political awakening. At the beginning of the story – that is the dramaturgical arc – Marley fails in what he succeeds in the end: proclaiming love and reconciling people. You could also say that it is One Love is a saint’s story.

    In 1976 Bob Marley wants to have one Smile-Jamaicaconcert in Kingston to bring a bit of a smile to his homeland, which is plagued by civil war and crime. Two days earlier, a group of men broke into his house and started shooting, injuring Rita, his manager and Marley himself. To this day it is still unclear who the assassins were and on whose behalf they were acting. Marley performs despite his injury, but then travels to London, where his British manager Chris Blackwell finally turns him into a superstar. With the album Exodus
    He then toured Europe before returning to Kingston in 1978 and playing at another, now completely successful, peace festival: At the end of One Love Peace Concert He brings his country’s two feuding political leaders, Prime Minister Michael Manley and opposition leader Edward Seaga, to shake hands for the first time.

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    Kingsley Ben-Adir and Lashana Lynch, who play Bob and Rita Marley, have conscientiously understood the Jamaican patois, but do not know how to bring their characters to life or interpret them in any way. They don’t gain any presence or enough space to be able to play freely, but instead seem consistently timid and slowed down. Which could have something to do with the fact that they – like in one funny report from the US-American Rolling Stone can be read – were corrected in all possible details by the members of the Marley family, be it – as Kingsley tells Ben-Adir – whether Bob Marley took two steps at a time when walking on a staircase or not. In order not to do anything wrong, the actors obviously decided in the end to do as little as possible. Very often you can see Ben-Adir as Marley simply contemplating or enjoying his great hobby, playing football.

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