The Bob Marley Movie

The Bob Marley Movie February 27, 2024

Rastafarianism is a very odd religion.  It’s most important distinctive is the weird belief that Emperor Haile Selassie was the second coming of Jesus. Otherwise however it is most based on the Bible, and especially the OT themes of exodus, redemption, with a dash of Jesus’ pacifism from the Sermon on the Mount.  But of course what stands out is the reggae music itself, and also Bob’s work for peace in his war torn country of Jamaica after colonial rule ended in the 70s.

The movie is very well done, is 1 hour and 47 minutes long, and Kingsley Ben-Adir does a remarkable job portraying Bob in the film.  In fact there are places where the Jamaican accent of Bob and others in the film is hard to penetrate, unless you’re from there and understand that way of speaking English.   Brad Pitt was the executive producer and Ziggy Marley and Bob’s wife Rita and the rest of the family weighed in the whole way through, making sure it was true to the life of Bob.  And for those unfamiliar with the story, Bob Marley was shot in Jamaica having done a peace concert as was Rita, and it was something of a miracle they both survived.  They moved to London, and in 1978 they produced the album which Time Magazine once called the greatest album of the 20th century, allowing for a bit of hyperbole.

The most effective scenes are those of Bob and his band, including Rita as one of the Wailers, either recording music for Exodus in a studio in London, or performing live in Europe.  Sadly Bob died in 1981 at only the age of 36 of a melanoma cancer which first surfaced in the late 70s and was not treated well or fast enough to give him a longer life.   What the film does an especially good job of was showing the humility of the man, and how his family loved and supported him.  Also telling are the scenes where he is reading his Bible and coming up with lyrics about redemption and freedom.   All  in  all,this  is  a good  biopic.


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