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Event Review

‘Bob Marley: One Love’ Biopic Premiere [Event Review]

‘Bob Marley: One Love’ Biopic held it’s premiere alongside personal insights from a guest panel in London recently. Read our thoughts here.



Bob Marley: One Love

I am honoured to have been given the opportunity to attend an event as special as this one. The venue, the esteemed guests and the incredibly warm staff made for a wonderful evening curated with meticulous detail from start to finish.

Regrettably, I must preface this article by saying that until last night, I wouldn’t have called myself a fan of Bob Marley. However, this night made a great case for that to change.

I don’t believe this event could have taken place at a better venue, Regent Street cinema is as charming as I can only imagine it was in 1896 when it premiered the very first motion picture in the UK. It is encouraging to see this cinema continue to strive for greatness so many years later.

Bob Marley Biopic Premiere

Bob Marley Biopic Premiere

Upon arrival, guests were greeted with tokens for a free cocktail redeemable at the bar. This kind gesture was much appreciated. After a short welcome speech from the cinema and the University of Westminster, the film started to roll. As aforementioned, I am by no means an expert on the life or music of Bob Marley, so I entered this screening almost blind. This was no issue I would wager it made the experience all the more enjoyable as I indulged in this incredible story with no expectations or worries about how they would portray this artist, which I believe has been the main criticism of this film. However, that is almost unavoidable for biopics.

I feel that Reinaldo Marcus Green (Director) did an excellent job of exhibiting the entire story cohesively yet not always chronologically and occasionally through abstract means. The introduction of flashbacks and dreamlike sequences kept the film from losing traction. I particularly enjoyed how the relationship between Bob and his father was depicted through regular brief interludes from the main story; using imagery such as the ring of fire, Green was able to convey a complex relationship throughout the film without explicitly telling the audience. This creative direction sets Bob Marley: One Love apart from your average biopic.

The film contains strong performances from the entire cast, especially Kingsley Ben-Adir, who was incredibly compelling. Not to mention the soundtrack, which, of course, was excellent, too. The film was greatly received by the audience, who regularly sang along.

As the credits began to roll, the film welcomed applause as the roundtable guests took their seats.

The guest panel consisted of Adrian Boot, Island Record’s in-house photographer who worked very closely with Bob and is responsible for the majority of Marley’s most iconic imagery, journalist Chris Salewicz and Bernie Dixon, a childhood friend of Bob’s. The panel was dictated by Dr Mykaell Riley, the Director of the Black Music Research Unit and Reader in Music Production Performance and Business at the University of Westminster.

The guests all shared personal stories from their times with Marley, respectively, which gave the audience a much more personal insight into the life of Bob. It was endearing to see these three men who had never met each other interact like lifelong friends through their collective love for the man.

Bob Marley Biopic Premiere

Bob Marley Biopic Premiere

Panellists told tales of Bob’s not-so-secret love affair with Cindy Breakspeare, who was briefly in the movie yet unmentioned. Dr. Riley asked who they thought the primary audience for the film was, which excited Salewicz, who was very quick to vocalize his opinion on the negative reviews this film has received by anonymous users who he suspected hadn’t even seen the film yet. This was due to the divide within Bob Marley’s fan base, ‘the purists’ vs ‘the masses’. The panellists settled on the film being made for ‘the masses,’ which justified some key characters being left out.

The event finished with some questions from guests, which made the conversation feel inclusive and tied off the evening very nicely. I would like to thank everybody involved for creating such a special viewing experience.

For more information on Bob Marley: One Love, head over to the official website.

Bob Marley: One Love Biopic Poster Artwork

Bob Marley: One Love Biopic Poster Artwork