Bob Marley biopic ‘One Love’ dials down the legend but amplifies human connection

Biopics typically put the highlight on larger-than-life icons. But for Kingsley Ben-Adir, the British actor who performs Jamaican reggae star Bob Marley in a brand new film out Wednesday, telling a sweeping story a few legend was one thing that he — and Marley’s household — needed “to turn the volume down on.”

“We were trying to find a bit of Bob’s spirit as a human being,” he stated in a video interview with NBC News. “That was my instruction from the family and the intention of the movie that’s produced by them.”


Kingsley defined that past the legend that captured the creativeness of Marley’s fellow Jamaicans — and followers throughout the world — they needed viewers to attach on a deeper human stage.

Bob Marley: One Love
Anna-Sharé Blake performs Judy Mowatt, Lashana Lynch is Rita Marley, and Naomi Cowan performs Marcia Griffiths in the film about Marley’s life.Chiabella James / Paramount Pictures

“There’s something about his lifelong journey to spread peace, or find peace for himself, that I feel is very, very universal,” he stated. “We’re all on our own journeys trying to feel connected to something.”Kingsley stated Marley was capable of transmit this profound craving for a better sense of connection by the “feeling of his music.”

“Bob Marley: One Love” hits film theaters nationwide one week after what would have been the reggae star’s 79th birthday. Marley died in 1981, simply 36 years previous, from a melanoma on his huge toenail. 

The title of the biopic comes from the hit track “One Love,” which was launched on the 1965 debut album by Marley’s authentic group, The Wailers. 

Bob Marley: One Love
The film performs in theaters nationwide one week after what would have been the reggae star’s 79th birthday.Chiabella James / Paramount Pictures

The refrain of “One love. One heart. Let’s get together and feel all right” carries a higher message of unity that director Reinaldo Marcus Green — and Marley’s household — presents in the movie, set amid violent political unrest in Jamaica in 1976.

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“We wanted to establish the stakes right away. There were two rival parties,” Green stated in a video interview. At the time, Jamaica had been splintered by the People’s National Party and the Jamaica Labour Party, with the tensions resulting in intense violence in the run-up to an election. “And Bob was at the center of this.”

The film begins as the reggae star tries to unify all Jamaicans with a free live performance known as Smile Jamaica. Shortly earlier than the occasion, Marley and his spouse, Rita (performed by Lashana Lynch), are shot.

Bob Marley: One Love
The movie’s title comes from the hit track “One Love,” which was launched on the 1965 debut album by Marley’s authentic group, The Wailers.Chiabella James / Paramount Pictures

“Somebody didn’t want him to do that. Somebody wanted him to choose sides,” Green stated. 

The couple survive the assassination try and exile themselves quickly after. Rita Marley goes to Delaware with their kids. And Bob Marley strikes to London, the place he in the end information one among his most emblematic albums.

“He doubles down. He creates ‘Exodus,’” Green stated. “Most people would go into hiding forever and never come out.”

Rolling Stone just lately ranked “Exodus” No. 48 in “The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.”

Green stated Marley’s music has the energy to transcend many boundaries. And he credited his father with introducing Marley to his childhood residence in Staten Island, New York.

Bob Marley: One Love
Ziggy Marley stated unity was each the cornerstone of his father’s music and what drove the film ahead.Chiabella James / Paramount Pictures

“My dad always had Bob around and the music on,” he stated. “He named me Reinaldo Marcus Green after Marcus Garvey. Marcus Garvey is whom Bob studied about the liberation of Black people and going back to Africa. So, it was something that was always around in my household.”

Looking again on Bob Marley’s legacy, his son Ziggy Marley stated his father would have needed to ship one key message right now. 

“My father would want humanity to be in a better place than where we are in terms of how we coexist with each other. Less divisiveness. Less political friction,” he stated in a video interview.

Unity, Ziggy Marley stated, was each the cornerstone of Bob Marley’s music and what drove the film ahead, many years after the reggae star’s loss of life.

“That’s why this movie really come now to put more light on that message in the world,” he stated, “’cause there are not a lot of things that’s pushing that idea of unification.”

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