Marley & He

Wailer of a Good Time, Mon
Official Website | Trailers & Mo
PG-13 | 144 min

You think you know the story of Bob Marley (he’s that dude who made those amazing reggae songs and smoked a lot of pot!!), but you really don’t the story of Bob Marley (his dad was white, and absent, he really loved soccer, and he had children with at least 7 different women), and although Kevin Macdonald‘s exhaustive and exhausting doc Marley tells the story of Bob Marley as best as it possibly can, we somehow still feel like we didn’t get the full story on Bob Marley.  And that’s OK, mon.  No problem, mon.  Fo’real mon!  Really?  Yeah mon, cause how could a doc about Bob Marley, officially sanctioned & supported by the Marley clan (Rita Marley, Ziggy Marley, Cedella Marley), including all the choice Bob Marley tunes, that gives us a good enuff overview of Bob Marley’s life, from shantytown birth til painful cancerous death, not be something worth seeing?  Guess what, it’s all true, and so it’s worth seeing!

This documentary has been a long gestating project, passing thru the hands of Martin Scorsese, Jonathan Demme, and finally into Macdonald’s.  Macdonald, taking a break from his not so fabulous narrative work (The Eagle, State of Play), returns to where he belongs – doc making.  He gave us One Day in September and Touching the Void, two of the best films docs we’ve ever seen, EVER.  Marley isn’t eggzactly in league with those two, but then again, not much else is.  EAT THAT EVERY OTHER DOC!!!

The talking heads are endless, and endlessly loving (guess he was incapable of being bad.  even his infidelities were accepted!), from the living Marleys (the ones mentioned above + Bob’s mom Cedella Booker), to ex-lovers (Cindy Breakspeare), bandmates (Bunny Wailer, who we could listen to talk pretty much all day long), to even a janitor who worked at a recording studio.  And while their stories are a treat, still, something feels missing… like a deeper understanding of who Bob Marley actually is and was.  Seriously, who was Bob Marley, and what was he is and was???

moral of the (Bob Marley) story – well, he’s that dude who made those amazing reggae songs and smoked a lot of pot, had a white daddy, who was absent, he really loved soccer, and had children with at least 7 different women.  get up, stand up, go to a theater, learn a lil more, and inhale his music.  it’s that simple, like this pretty simple doc, that’s simply one (giant) love (fest), and you love Bob Marley, right?  if you don’t, you need to Exodus planet Earth you idiot

Pop Marley: here lie the only known photo of Bob’s pop, Norval Sinclair Marley.  we smiled & chuckled everytime it popped up in the doc

Verdictgo: Jeepers MOS DEF Worth A Peepers

Marley lights up in many select theaters & Video On Demand today, 4/20!

and until next thyme the balcony is clothed…

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