Review: 'Marley', directed by Kevin MacDonald
Bob Marley means a lot to a lot of people in the world. At times now many people know him and idolize him without really knowing the impact and reasons for his importance to popular music and the world in general. What this documentary is trying to do is cast a more comprehensive light on his life more than the high points of getting shot and dying from cancer. With interviews from his family and band members they really give you an insight into the man’s life.
The goal of director Kevin MacDonald(The Last King of Scotland) is to show Bob Marley’s life from birth to death. He starts with interviewing with mother and grade school music teacher. Macdonald uses interviews with mother and old photos and great panning shots of the small Jamaican town where he spent his childhood.
Macdonald and the editors nicely blend together pieces of video interviews and audio clips to give an air of Marley himself commenting on the points of the film. It reminds you a bit how the way Tupac Resurrection was handled. The interviews with people seems very candid and open to the camera with their stories of Marley. Some of the others interviewed, like his long lost white cousin and his half sister are used effectively to show his split with his father’s family and how he used his life and feelings for his songs.
Another thing this film does very well is cover his music from his first time performing and learning the guitar to his falling out with the original Wailers. All throughout they inter-cut his music and performances in the film. For a person that might not know about Reggae and Marley’s music it does a fantastic job at introducing his catalog and the beginnings of Reggae.
In the end Kevin Macdonald and the producers did a fantastic job with this movie. If there goal was to introduce or reintroduce Bob Marley to the greater public then they succeeded. The only real issue with the film is the length, it’s a bit long, the last hour or so really drags along. Some things toward the end could’ve been tightened up and flowed better toward its conclusion. The film still though is very good and nice opposite to some other things in the cinema right now. This film will leave you feeling good and teach you something even if you’re the biggest Bob Marley expert.