Jamie Skinner’s Film Review of the Week takes a look at Bob Marley: One Love, here’s what he has to say - As his global fame rises, Bob Marley (Kingsley Ben-Adir) attempts to arrange a concert to unite Jamaica, which is on the brink of civil war.

Cert - 12, Run-time - 1 hour 44 minutes, Director - Reinaldo Marcus Green

Bob Marley: One Love focuses on the iconic singer’s (Kingsley Ben-Adir) attempts to put together a concert in the hope of uniting Jamaica through reggae music. The genre has made waves across the globe as Marley’s fame rises with each new country he visits. Yet, the influence and impact could be most felt in Jamaica, a country on the brink of civil war; to avert this Marley aims to put on a concert to unite his home. However, with flashbacks to his origins, particularly the early stages of his relationship with wife, and backing singer, Rita (Lashana Lynch), the film feels at times itch-inducingly conventional.

As with many recent biopics the right casting is what helps lift things up. Ben-Adir and Lynch are both great in their roles and especially help to lift up the much more familiar scenes. They bring something to the sequences where Marley and the Wailers build up songs, and eventually their album Exodus, which otherwise lack the creative spark that they perhaps need.

Yet, this is a film that believes in the message that its sending and depicting. The idea of one love. Spreading peace and joy across the world. Ben-Adir conveys this with charm and sincerity, allowing the viewer to buy into it just as much. Ben-Adir’s relaxed and likable performance pushes such points more than the actual One Love concert sequence itself - largely because it doesn’t exist in the film. It’s perhaps why the film best succeeds not in the music but in the depictions of Marley’s relationships.

As a whole there’s enough present within One Love to allow it to work and not feel too bland. Perhaps the convention and familiarity helps it along somewhat, but after the last few years of musical biopics it feels like a factor which works more against the film than for it. However, an engaging belief in its messages and depicted mission provides the film with a drive. It might be faint at first, but as it develops it grows and keeps you involved. Where this properly clicks and comes through is during an interview scene where Marley makes clear the reasons for the titular concert, and the course of his own life after some key revelations regarding his health.

There’s enough detail within this beats and elements, helped by the performances at the core of the film, to help move things along and provide enough interest throughout. A handful of scenes may be overly familiar but overall Bob Marley: One Love believes in its titular star and concert’s messages. Stopping the proceedings from feeling bland while pushing a likable belief and motivation to help stop things from getting stuck in the groove for too long.

Jamie Skinner, Three stars ***